CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Researchers with the University of Illinois Chicago’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy interviewed 99 respondents with children living in Cook County (39 whites, 30 Blacks, and 30 Latinos) in 2019 and found that intergenerational transfers of resources are the main driver of the racial wealth gap in the middle class.
On average, white respondents come from families with far more resources and benefit from the support of those resources throughout life.
The UIC researchers said these resource transfers go beyond inheritances to include a wide range of financial support and cash transfers in their everyday lives, such as help with paying for college, buying a home, buying a car, paying for child care or going on vacation.
“Our in-depth interviews highlight the precarity of many Black and Latinx families who have ‘made it’…Their precarity is set into stark relief when contrasted with the experience of many white families,” the report stated.
Exacerbating this pattern, white families both receive far more support from family members and are also less often called upon to provide support to their extended family than their Black and Latino peers.
As a result, white families generally have far more assets and far less debt than Black and Latino families, even when they have similar levels of education and income.