In America today, 62.8% of the population is white, and 12.2% is African American. Dense, urban cities tend to be more racially diverse than the country as a whole. In the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area, 38.6% of residents are white and 16.9% are African American.
Wealth is often divided along racial lines. Nationwide, the typical white household earns $61,394 a year. Meanwhile, the typical African American household earns just 59.5% of the median income for white households, or $36,544 a year. In Houston, the typical African American household earns 49.3% of that of the typical white household, a greater income disparity than the nation as a whole and the sixth largest racial income gap of any city in Texas.
Similarly, while 6.7% of white residents in Houston live below the poverty line, an estimated 19.4% of African American metro area residents do. Of all white households in the area, 14.0% earn $200,000 or more annually, compared to just 3.0% of African American households.
One reason for the racial income disparity in Houston and across the country may be the divergence of education levels across racial groups. Nationwide, 34.2% of white Americans have at least a bachelor’s degree, while 20.2% of African Americans have similar educational attainment. In Houston, the college attainment rate among white adults is 42.9%, while it is only 25.4% among African American adults.