Race and Home Ownership, 1900 to 1990

40 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2000 Last revised: 6 May 2000

See all articles by William J. Collins

William J. Collins

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; The Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert A. Margo

Boston University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 1999

Abstract

The historical evolution of racial differences in income in the 20th century United States has been examined intensively by economists, but the evolution of racial differences in wealth has been examined far less. This paper uses IPUMS data to study trends in racial differences in home ownership since 1900. At the turn of the century approximately 20 percent of black adult males (ages 20 to 64) owned their homes, compared with 46 percent of white men, a gap of 26 percentage points. By 1990, the black home ownership rate had increased to 52 percent and the racial gap had fallen to 19.5 percentage points. All of the long-term rise in the rate of black home ownership, and almost all of the corresponding long-term decline in the racial gap, occurred after 1940, with the majority of both changes concentrated in the 1960 to 1980 period. We also use the IPUMS to study trends in race differences in the incidence of mortgages, and in the value of owner-occupied housing.

Suggested Citation

Collins, William J. and Margo, Robert A., Race and Home Ownership, 1900 to 1990 (August 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w7277. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=199009

William J. Collins (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
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615-322-3428 (Phone)

The Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Robert A. Margo

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-6819 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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