In America today, 62.8% of the population is white, and 12.2% is African American. Dense, urban cities tend to be more racially diverse than the country as a whole. In the Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin metro area, 73.7% of residents are white and 15.2% are African American.
Wealth is often divided along racial lines. Nationwide, the typical white household earns $61,394 a year. Meanwhile, the typical African American household earns just 59.5% of the median income for white households, or $36,544 a year. In Nashville, the typical African American household earns 58.1% of that of the typical white household, an income disparity similar to the nation as a whole and the third largest racial income gap of any city in Tennessee.
Similarly, while 9.8% of white residents in Nashville live below the poverty line, an estimated 21.9% of African American metro area residents do. Of all white households in the area, 6.9% earn $200,000 or more annually, compared to just 1.8% of African American households.
One reason for the racial income disparity in Nashville and across the country may be the divergence of education levels across racial groups. Nationwide, 34.2% of white Americans have at least a bachelor’s degree, while 20.2% of African Americans have similar educational attainment. In Nashville, the college attainment rate among white adults is 36.2%, while it is only 24.5% among African American adults.