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African-American philanthropy

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African Americans earned and gave more from 1992 to 2001 but did not keep pace with the overall population, a new study says.

The study, “Wealth Transfer Estimates for African American Households,” conducted by the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, analyzes the state of African-American income, wealth and giving, and projects future wealth transfer between generations.

During the decade studied, African-American household income grew 4 percent a year, after adjusting for inflation, while charitable giving grew 5 percent, the study says.

However, while the general population’s wealth and giving increased at faster rates during the same decade, the study says, African Americans’ share of U.S. wealth fell, as did their share of charitable giving.

Average wealth for African Americans grew about 2.4 percent from 1992 to 2001, the study says, while wealth increased 5.88 percent for all U.S. households.

The amount of wealth owned by African Americans is less than that of the overall population, with 112,000 households worth $1 million or more, and 333,000 worth at least $500,000, limiting the wealth that can be transferred to the next generation.

The center estimates that, from 2001 to 2055, African-American households will transfer $1.1 trillion to $3.4 trillion in wealth, compared to estimates ranging from $46.3 trillion to $153 trillion for the overall population.

While African Americans represent 12.4 percent of the population, the group is likely to be responsible for only 2.5 percent of the wealth transferred during that 55-year period, the study says.

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