OBJECTIVE: The purpose was to study whether racial disparities in total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) utilization and outcomes have declined over time. METHODS: We used the US Nationwide Inpatient Sample from 1998 to 2011.We used chi-squared test to compare characteristics, Cochran-Armitage test to compare utilization rates, and Cochran-Armitage test and logistic regression to compare time-trends in outcomes by race. RESULTS: From 1998 to 2011, 176,141 Whites and 7694 Blacks underwent TSA. Compared to Whites, Blacks who underwent TSA were younger (69.1 vs. 64.2 years; p<0.0001), more likely to be female (54.9 vs. 71.0 %; p<0.0001), and have rheumatoid arthritis or avascular necrosis as the underlying diagnosis (1.7 vs. 3.0%and 1.7 vs. 6.1 %; p<0.0001 for both) and a Deyo-Charlson index of 2 or higher (8.5 vs. 16.7 %; p<0.0001). Compared to Whites, Blacks had much lower TSA utilization rate/100,000 in 1998 (2.97 vs. 0.83; p<0.0001) and in 2011 (12.27 vs. 3.33; p<0.0001); racial disparities increased from 1998 to 2011 (p<0.0001). A higher proportion of Blacks than Whites had a hospital stay greater than median in 1998-2000, 62 vs. 51.4 % (p=0.02), and in 2009-2011, 34.4 vs. 27.3 % (p<0.0001); disparities did not change over time (p=0.31). These disparities in utilization were borderline significant in adjusted analyses. There were no racial differences in proportion discharged to inpatient medical facility in 1998-2000, 15.2 vs. 15.0 % (p=0.95), and in 2009-2011, 12.3 vs. 11.1%(p=0.37), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: We found increasing racial disparities in TSA utilization. Some disparities in outcomes exist as well. Patients, surgeons, and policy-makes should be aware of these findings and take action to reduce racial disparities.