Pew Research contradicts the “White Privilege” argument by comparing incomes along religious lines

Black vs White is not the biggest income gap

Pew Research 2014

Between 2007 and 2014, Pew Research demonstrated over and over that the black vs white household income gap was far from the largest income gap in the USA. Specifically, ethnic and religious income gaps existed that are far more significant than the black vs white racial gap.

In 2011, The New York Times [NYT] endorsed the results from Pew Research. The newspaper said the firm had found consistent results in studies conducted in 2007, 2010, and 2011.

Specifically, NTY reported that Hindus and Reform Jews had far higher median household incomes than the average American. Conservative Jews and Anglicans/Episcopalians formed a second tier that was also far above the national average. The New York Times attributed this to “culture” and “education.”

Even Mormons and Lutherans, two overwhelmingly white denominations generally perceived as successful people, are close to the national average and do not even compare to Reform Jews or Hindus.

In 2010, Pew Research estimated that the median household income for Indians (from India) was $88,000 vs a national average of $49,800 for that year. An income gap of over double the gap between blacks and whites.

In 2014, Pew Research re-affirmed that Jewish people and Hindus were the top earners in America. The median household income was roughly $35k for blacks that year. Pew Research reported that only 31% of Jewish households had incomes under $50k, and 44% lived in households with incomes over $100k. Among Hindus, 35% lived in households with incomes over $100k.

Let’s look at some more data from the US Census Department of Commerce for 2011, the same year as the NTY chart below.

The median household income for naturalized foreign-born citizens was $51,926 vs $50,801 for native-born citizens . The median household income by race was $65,129 for Asians, $55,412 for whites, $38,624 for Hispanics, and $32,229 for blacks. Jewish People and Hindus do not have their own categories, so they are averaged in with whites and Asians, respectively. The NYT reported nearly 68% of all Reform Jews, 65% of Hindus, and 58% of Conservative Jews had household incomes of over $75k during the same year.

As you can see, we have foreign-born citizens making more than native-born citizens. Asians are making far more than whites. Indians (from India) are making way more than even other Asians. Jews are making more than even the Indians.

Interestingly, Pew Research has also found that black wealth is also far more concentrated than white wealth. In 2009, Pew Research reported that the wealthiest 10% of whites owned 51% of all white wealth. At the same time, the wealthiest 10% of blacks owned 67% of all black wealth.

All this data shatters the notion of “white privilege,” a conspiratorial worldview in which white people are to blame for the shortcomings of other races, religious groups, and ethnic minorities. Of course, you can make many other arguments against the dehumanizing “white privilege” slur; this is only one of them.

New York Times Chart 2011
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