It’s not easy for anyone to become a billionaire in America, but it’s likely even harder if you’re black.
Only five of the United States’ 607 billionaires are African American, Forbes’ Billionaires List shows. The staggeringly low number of American billionaires that identify as being of African descent highlights the widening chasm between the economic opportunities afforded to black and white Americans.
In 1992, the median net worth of white families was $100,000 above that of black families, according to McKinsey. By 2016, the median white family was $152,000 wealthier than its black counterpart. During that period, the median wealth of white families grew over $50,000, McKinsey reports, but the median wealth of black families did not grow at all in real terms.
The diversity problem among the world’s wealthiest people isn’t just an American one. Only 13 of the 2,153 people on Forbes’ 2019 billionaires list are black, the magazine reported. In 2018, that number was 11.
Keep reading to learn more about America’s black billionaires, in the order of their net worths.