Breaking Brown

January 25, 2016

The Claim “A Dollar Circulates Only 6 Hours in the Black Community” is Unsubstantiated, Say Researchers

The Claim “A Dollar Circulates Only 6 Hours in the Black Community” is Unsubstantiated, Say Researchers

A new project at Howard University is devoted to debunking myths about the black community. One of the unsubstantiated claims they’ve run across, according to NiemanLab, is the idea that a black dollar only circulates in the black community for six hours.

Recall that the NAACP reported the following:“Currently, a dollar circulates in Asian communities for a month, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days and white communities 17 days. How long does a dollar circulate in the black community? 6 hours!!! African American buying power is at 1.1 Trillion; and yet only 2 cents of every dollar an African American spends in this country goes to black owned businesses. “

Researchers at Howard University were unable to find any data to substantiate those claims, however.

From Howard University’s research website Truth Be Told:

The claim that a dollar circulates in the black community for only six hours cannot be substantiated.


The federal government does not produce data that would allow such a comparison.


In addition, economists contacted by said some of the data cited, such as information about dollars circulating in the Jewish community, is questionable because the federal government does not collect information by religion. And researchers would be unable to get the information accurately from a survey of consumers.


The earliest source of the statistic appears to be a book that is nearly 20 years old. The book also never mentions the name of the study nor provides any information about the author.

And as Antonio Moore recently observed at, racial inequality is getting even worse, meaning blacks have even fewer dollars to spend anywhere. As a matter of fact, African-Americans are worse off economically than South Africans during apartheid:

Some historical context: In South Africa, during the atrocities of apartheid, the median black family held about 7 percent of typical white South African family net worth. Today, using Wolff’s analysis, the median African American family holds a mere 1.5 percent of median white American family wealth.

And as The Huffington Post reported in “Black Wealth Barely Exists, In One Terrible Chart”:

black wealth

There aren’t enough black dollars to serve as a means for uplift in the black community. It may be time for the those who hang their hopes on the promise of black capitalism to consider a Plan B.

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7 thoughts on “The Claim “A Dollar Circulates Only 6 Hours in the Black Community” is Unsubstantiated, Say Researchers

  1. TinaSue says:

    I don’t believe any of those studies.  One study says this; another study says the opposite.  And on and on..epending on who is trying to push what agenda.

  2. HANNIBAL the VICTOR says:

    Bottom line is black americans are the poorest group in america. Lowest savings rates , lowest entreprenurial participation rate ,lowest investment rate etc. Blacks just keep on trying to dodge their responsibility ( ability to respond to white supremacy) for their predicament.

  3. Watchful says:

    It’s difficult  to circulate those dollars when so few blk-owned businesses exist in those neighborhoods. And it’s hard to start, and more importantly, sustain any businesses without access to capital. It might help if we would begin to place the money we do have in blk-owned banks and then demand that they provide loans to blk entrepreneurs and existing businesses in our neighborhoods. Would also help if we demanded that our churches deposit their substantial dollars in those blk banks, too.

  4. Watchful says:


    So true, Tina … u do have to be careful and find out who is funding alotta these ‘studies’.

  5. HaroldlClayton says:

    Dr. Claud Anderson speaks about the number of times a dollar ‘bounces’ in various ethnic communities . Along comes ‘we’re all in this together’ academics who say they cannot substantiate whether a dollar circulates i.e.,  ‘bounces’  in the black community for more than 6 hours because by the time they catch up with that circulating or ‘bouncing’ dollar it has already ‘bounced’ out into the greater society as a whole !

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