Black asset ownership: Does ethnicity matter?

Research has shown that blacks are relatively disadvantaged when compared with whites on a host of sociological indicators including on income, education and occupational status. Recent research has shown blacks are not all equally disadvantaged. In some cases such as in the case of blacks in Queens County, New York, blacks surpass whites in terms of median income, especially foreign-born blacks. Yet, blacks fare worse when compared with whites on indicators of asset ownership. Despite that, some black ethnic groups including those with roots in the Caribbean or from Africa have been shown to have higher rates of home ownership and higher housing values than African-Americans. However, few studies include measures of asset ownership beyond these indicators when assessing the extent to which ethnicity matters for blacks. The present study examines the following research questions: (1) What factors explain variations in the likelihood of ownership and the levels of interest, dividends and rental income owned for blacks? (2) Is ethnicity a significant predictor for black respondents? (3) Does education and occupation matter more for some black ethnic groups than for others? The findings reveal that ethnicity plays a significant role in the acquisition and accumulation of interest, dividends and rental income, but it does not account for all of the variations observed for blacks. The findings shed further light on the complexities associated with understanding wealth inequality and racial and ethnic group variations.