Racism in Boston

African-Americans in Boston have a median net worth of $8. That's not a typo.

White households in Boston average net worth nearly 31,000 times more than African-American Bostonians.

Boston's reputation as a racist city was put to the test by The Boston Globe's Spotlight investigative team of reporters. They analyzed data, surveys and conducted hundreds of interviews to determine whether the reputation is warranted.

The first part of their investigation was released Sunday. Spotlight concluded that despite important stopgaps, racism is alive and well in the cradle of liberty.

"Here in Boston, a city known as a liberal bastion, we have deluded ourselves into believing we’ve made more progress than we have," the article reads. "Racism certainly is not as loud and violent as it once was, and the city overall is a more tolerant place. But inequities of wealth and power persist, and racist attitudes remain powerful, even if in more subtle forms. They affect what we do—and what we don’t do."

One of Spotlight's most daunting findings is the economic disparity between whites and blacks in Boston.

Using data from the Federal Reserve of Boston, Spotlight found that non-immigrant African-Americans in the Boston area had a median net worth of $8. "That means they owe almost as much as the combined value of what they own, be it a car, or house, or savings," Spotlight writes.

White households in Boston, on the other hand, average a net worth of $247,500, or nearly 31,000 times more than African-American Bostonians.

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