An estimated 19% of Black Americans, roughly 3.5 million people, have a negative net worth because of a history of discriminatory policies from the government and private industry that has hindered the accumulation of wealth over time, according to a new McKinsey & Company study released Thursday.
Just 8% of White Americans have a negative net worth today by comparison, according to the global management consulting firm’s comprehensive report on the economic state of Black America. An additional 4.3 million Black Americans have a net worth of less than $10,000, the study’s authors said.
The analysis conducted earlier this year examines major occupational and economic gaps facing Black Americans. The study’s authors said Black workers make up 12.9% of the nation’s labor force, but earn only 9.6% of total US wages.