The Great Debate UK
-Omar Khan is director of policy research at UK race equality think tank The Runnymede Trust. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Scholars, policy experts, advocates and members of Congress will be gathering in Washington in early April to assess the racial wealth gap in the United States, where families of colour on average own 16 cents of wealth to the white family’s dollar.
But this is not only an American problem.
Ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom also lag behind white people in accumulating wealth, and this is probably true across Europe. This disparity is bad for everyone.
In the UK, the government has collected data on ethnicity since the 1991 Census, and public authorities are required to monitor ethnicity. In contrast, in most European countries collecting data on ethnicity is illegal. We cannot precisely quantify wealth holdings elsewhere in European countries, but, by extrapolating from UK data and for reasons set forth below, we know that European ethnic minorities have fewer assets than white people on the continent.