A study published by banking corporation Citigroup found the United States has lost trillions of dollars to systemic racism.
The report found the nation experienced a $16 trillion gross domestic product loss since 2000. The gross domestic product, known as the GDP, is the total sum of goods and services produced in a country. Citigroup’s findings are significant considering the United States’ 2019 GDP is $19.5 trillion.
The deficit comes from a few key areas:
- The Black community lost $13 trillion in potential business revenue because entrepreneurs were victims of discriminatory lending. Consequently, 6.1 million jobs were not created.
- Black people missed out on $90 billion to $113 billion in income because they did not have sufficient access to higher education.
- The housing market lost $218 billion in sales because Black buyers had trouble getting home loans.
- The racial wage gap has costed Black Americans $2.7 trillion in lost wages
If the United States fixed these issues today, the report argues, there could be a $5 trillion GDP increase over the next five years. The country could have seen $2.7 trillion in additional income if the gap had been repaired two decades ago.
“Racial inequality has always had an outsized cost, one that was thought to be paid only by underrepresented groups,” Raymond J. McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup and chairman of banking, Capital Markets and Advisory at Citi, said in a press release.
“What this report underscores are that this tariff is levied on us all, and particularly in the U.S., that cost has a real and tangible impact on our country’s economic output,” McGuire added. “Now, more than ever, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to confront this longstanding societal ill that has plagued Black and brown people in this country for centuries, tally up the economic loss and as a society, commit to bring greater equity and prosperity to all.”
The study included numerous recommendations for corporations, individual workers and the government, including recruitment of Black board members, self-advocacy for one’s career, and tax reform.