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 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area, 57.8% of residents are white and 4.8% 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 Phoenix, the typical African American household earns 65.8% of that of the typical white household, a smaller income disparity than the nation as a whole and the second largest racial income gap of any city in Arizona.
Similarly, while 10.2% of white residents in Phoenix live below the poverty line, an estimated 22.7% of African American metro area residents do. Of all white households in the area, 6.2% earn $200,000 or more annually, compared to just 2.5% of African American households.
One reason for the racial income disparity in Phoenix 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 Phoenix, the college attainment rate among white adults is 35.3%, while it is only 22.9% among African American adults.