White adults are more than twice as likely as Black and Latino households to get sizable financial help from parents or other elders. That's according to a new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Dorothy Brown, a tax law professor at Georgetown University, wishes more white families would talk about these intergenerational benefits.
"Because you have Black Americans who are doing everything they were told is right and not getting ahead," she says. "And they're scratching their heads wondering, 'How come I'm not doing better than I am? How come I'm not doing better than the guy in the cubicle next to me?' "
The new poll finds 38% of white adults say they've gotten at least $10,000 in gifts or loans from a parent or older relative. Only 14% of Black adults receive similar gifts or loans. The share is 16% for Latinos and 19% for Native Americans.
Brown says this divide reflects generations of segregation and racism, especially in housing policies. Racially restrictive covenants barred white people from selling or renting their homes to African Americans or other minority groups. And Federal Housing Administration policies supported such restrictions.
Here's one reason why America's racial wealth gap persists across generations, Jennifer Ludden, NPR, August 13, 2022, available here