The income gap between the lowest and highest earning Americans increased 27% from 1970 to 2016, says a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. And that income inequality remains closely tied to education levels, birth origin, and membership in racial or ethnic groups.

The numbers also point to “the historical legacy and current impact of discrimination” as a key driver of income inequality. 

The study, which uses data from U.S. censuses, compares the incomes of households at the high end (the 90th percentile) of income distribution with those at the low end (the 10th percentile) within various groups.

The top-line findings:

Income gaps between racial groups have not improved much since 1970. In 2016, high-income blacks earned 68% as much as high-income whites–a ratio that has gone unchanged since 1970. Median income blacks improved a little, earning 65% as much as white counterparts in 2016, up from 59% in 1970. Lower-income blacks narrowed the gap only slightly from 47% in 1970 to 54% in 2016.

Income inequality in the U.S. is now greatest among Asian Americans, nearly doubling from 1970 to 2016. In 2016 (the last year for which data are available) Asians at the 90th percentile had incomes 10.7 times greater than the incomes of Asians at the 10th percentile. The 90/10 ratio among Asians was greater than among blacks (9.8), whites (7.8), and Hispanics (7.8).

“The Asian experience with inequality reflects the fact that the incomes of Asians near the top increased about nine times faster than the incomes of Asians near the bottom from 1970 to 2016, 96% compared with 11%,” writes Rakesh…