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Can Baby Bonds Help Shrink the Wealth Gap?

After decades of inequality, the average black family in Boston has assets totaling $8. A controversial proposal could give younger generations a leg up.
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Eric Thayer/Reuters

Economics are the most common barometer for measuring inequality in America. A 2016 Brookings Institution report handed Boston the dubious distinction of having the highest income inequality in the country, with the top 5 percent of earners making an average of $266,224, compared to just $14,942 for the bottom 20 percent.

That inequality is even more pronounced along racial lines and net worth. Staggeringly so. A white family in Greater Boston has a net worth of $247,500, according to a recent report. The wealth of a black, U.S.-born household in Boston? $8.