As cities across the country gear up for celebrations around the birth of Martin Luther King Jr., a new report offers a sobering reminder that there’s still much work to be done in America on the civil rights front.

The report, released by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, finds that African Americans still hold a fraction of the wealth of their white peers. What’s worse, this racial wealth divide has actually grown more severe since the 1980s.

Looking at median household wealth—that is, the wealth of households at the 50th percentile of the income distribution—Institute for Policy Studies researchers Chuck Collins, Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Josh Hoxie, and Sabrina Terry found that, between 1983 and 2016, the overall metric declined by about 3 percent (from $84,111 to $81,704). That trend is damning all on its own: “In other words, despite three decades of economic growth, great leaps in productivity, and other advances, the typical U.S. family at the statistical middle of the wealth distribution not only saw zero benefit, but saw their wealth go down,” the researchers note in their report. (The researches define wealth as “the sum total of assets held by a family minus total household debt.”)…

Pacific Standard Magazine