Education doesn’t equalize income between blacks and whites; with completion of college, blacks earn 65% of what white earn

Group of medical students at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Schooling does not equate income between blacks and whites
Group of medical students at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)

Note from BW of Brazil: For decades, people have been taught that education is the great equalizing institution. With the attainment of a college degree, we have been told, any social disadvantage that one has will somehow magically disappear. Yet another mythology. In the case of Brazilian women, for example, studies show us that women earn less than men in all positions, coming to a salary difference of 62% in the area of consultation. A 2014 study showed us that women actually attain more education than men yet still earn less money. A 2010 study showed that in the areas of Social Sciences, Business and Law, women earned 66.3% the salary of men. So how does this play out when we consider the race factor? Well, as you will below, the results remain the same. 

Schooling does not equate income between blacks and whites.(2)
Maria Luíza Barreto Cazumbá, a medical student at the Federal University of Minas Gerais

Schooling does not equalize income between blacks and whites

By Flávia Lima


The salary gap between blacks and whites grows as the schooling of both groups increases, says a Seade Foundation survey in conjunction with Dieese.

In the metropolitan region of São Paulo, income among blacks and whites with incomplete high school education was similar last year.

In the completion of high school, blacks earned 85% of whites, but, at the college level, the disparity was greater: blacks received only 65% of that obtained by whites in the same condition.

The data contradict the common sense that, the higher the schooling, the smaller the differences between the groups. They also point out that, for blacks, completing higher education is only one of the obstacles to obtaining better quality jobs and suggests that the barriers that prevent the group from advancing in the professional career remain firm.

Blacks also have to deal with higher unemployment than the white population (19.4% and 15.2%, respectively in 2016), as well as having an average income equivalent to 68% of whites’ salaries.

But if these two variables can be explained by the larger contingent of black workers in sectors that have suffered most from the crisis – such as civil construction and services – or in less skilled occupations – such as housework – what about the deeper salary gap as schooling increases between the two groups?

“When you look at the whole of the work, it is impossible to deny that a dose of racial discrimination prevails,” said Alexandre Loloian, an economist with the Seade Foundation responsible for the study.

One indication of this is that there are significant differences in the presence of blacks and whites at the top of the labor market.

By 2016, 37% of blacks with higher education was in the directorship and planning management; non-blacks in this group were 51%. Among those who performed execution of tasks, blacks were almost 60%, compared to 46% of non-blacks.

“The black gardener or domestic is in the socially awaited place,” says Marcelo Paixão, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin (USA). Which would not happen at command posts or in contact with the public.

In a society that ranks according to the appearance, blacks are reserved positions of lesser prestige.

Source: Folha

About Marques Travae 2895 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. This shouldn’t be a surprise; education is only part of the picture. It definitely helps and is necessary, but removing all of the other systemic and structural issues that create and further inequality is also crucial. Also, a wealth gap built up over centuries cannot be eliminated quickly, but increasing the wages of working-class Black people; increasing the Black middle class and professionals; and creating and supporting Black owned businesses definitely makes an impact.

  2. I have come to the conclusion that the way black ppl will get ahead in some places is to insulate themselves, quietly move up, form their own communities and support themselves on their own. A full and complete separation from the larger society will likely be the only way some will save their mental and spiritual heath.

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