A new study that appears on ApartmentList.com finds that among households headed by prime working age adults, aged 25 years to 54 years, 64.4 percent of white households are homeowners, compared to just 32.7 percent of black households. Furthermore, the study found that the racial gap has actually increased since 1980 for that age group.
Since that year, the percentage of whites ages 25 to 54 who owned their home declined by 5.9 percentage points. But the declines was 10.7 percentage points for African Americans in this same age group.
“The Racial Divide in Homeownership” found that the racial gap in home ownership rates was highest in the city of Minneapolis where 74.3 percent of whites in the 25 to 54 age group owned their homes compared to just 19.6 percent of blacks.
The report also includes data on the racial gap in home ownership by educational attainment. Whites who did not graduate from high school had a home ownership rate that was higher than the Black population who had attended but did not graduate from college.
The racial gap is smaller but is still significant for college graduates. Some 70 percent of whites with a college degree own their home. But less than half of African-American college graduates own their home. Even more striking is the fact that the racial gap in home ownership rates for college graduates has actually increased since 1980.
As a step toward improved housing equality, lawmakers should also reconsider the mortgage interest tax deduction, which primarily benefits wealthy households, the study says.
“The gaps in homeownership rates across races serve as a striking reminder of how far the United States still has to come in achieving housing equality, and it’s crucial that we strive to work toward more effective and inclusive tools for boosting homeownership for all Americans,” the study concludes.