There is great income inequality in our state and it is rooted in and fed by our racial history.
Wages are lower and more stagnant in the black community and the net worth of Connecticut’s white residents is substantially higher than that of black residents. Lower earnings and greater economic instability compromise retirement security, longevity, the transfer of wealth and assets from generation to generation. Cumulatively, these factors are compromising the foothold on the middle class for Connecticut’s black families.
- The unemployment rate for blacks in Connecticut, at more than 13%, is more than double the 5% rate for whites. And unemployment rates are disproportionately higher in Waterbury, Bridgeport, and Hartford at 12% overall.
- Connecticut people of color earn a median hourly wage that is, on average, $7.25 to $8 less than what white workers earn.
- While 30.3 % of Connecticut’s K-12 students are eligible for free/reduced-price meals, over 90% are eligible in Hartford.
- In 2013, just over 35 % of Hartford residents lived below the federal poverty line, according to the U.S. Census.
- The average annual wage of Hartford’s mostly black residents is just under $17,000 while Connecticut’s is more than $37,000.
- White households’ net worth is 20 times that of black households’ according to the Pew Research Center.
If US income inequality were eliminated, minority purchasing power would increase from $4.3 trillion to $6.1 trillion reaching 70% of all US purchases in 2045.
Nationally, if the average incomes of minorities were raised to the average incomes of whites, total U.S. earnings would increase by 12%. The earnings gain would translate into $180 billion in additional corporate profits, $290 billion in additional federal tax revenues and a potential reduction in the federal deficit of $350 billion, or 2.3% of GDP.
Learn more about the racial wealth gap in the context of systemic racism…