An estimated 19% of Black American families, roughly 3.5 million households, have a negative net worth because of a history of discriminatory policies from the government and private industry that has hindered their accumulation of wealth over time, according to a new McKinsey & Company study released Thursday.

Just 8% of White households 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 households have a net worth of less than $10,000, the study's authors said.


Employment disparities along racial lines have resulted in a $220 billion annual gap between the wages earned by Black Americans today and what they would be earning if their occupational numbers across business sectors were proportional to their percentage of the US population, the study noted.

"Achieving this scenario would boost total Black wages by 30% and draw approximately one million additional Black workers into employment," the study said.

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