Median Income for White Families in U.S. Almost Double Blacks and Latinos

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Whites today enjoy considerable economic advantage over the largest minority groups in the United States—a disparity that's expected to exist far into the future even as Caucasians shrink in numbers and no longer represent a majority of the American population.
According to a new report published by the group United for a Fair Economy, the median family income of black and Latino families was 57% of that earned by white families.
At different times over the last 30 years, the income inequality between whites and blacks and Latinos was not as great. In 1981, the median Latino family earned 71 cents to each dollar of income by a white family. For blacks, better times were had as recently as 2000, when their family income was 62% of whites.
If current trends continue, the situation is expected to improve somewhat in the coming decades for African-Americans. By 2042, the typical black family would make about 61 cents for every dollar of income earned by the median white family.
But Latino income would continue to decline relative to white income. Thirty years from now, Latinos will earn only 45 cents for every dollar of white median family income.
By that time whites will no longer constitute a majority of the U.S. population and make up only 49.9% of all Americans.
Even more dramatic than the racial income gap is the wealth gap. Net wealth is calculated by subtracting debt from assets, and can be passed on from generation to generation. According to figures for 2007, the median black family held only 10 cents in wealth for every dollar owned by the median white family, while Latinos held 12 cents.
A more recent study, done by the Pew Research Center, calculated that between 2005 and 2009, the median white household lost 16% of its wealth to $113, 149. Black households fell to $5,677, a decline of 53%, while Latinos fell 66% to $6,325.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
State of the Dream (by Tim Sullivan, Wanjiku Mwangi, Brian Miller, Dedrick Muhammad and Colin Harris, United for a Fair Economy) (pdf)

Wealth Gap between Whites and Blacks Widens (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov) 


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