Racial Wealth Gap in U.S. Grows

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Great Recession and the meek recovery that followed only widened what already was a serious gap in wealth between whites and minorities.


From the 1980s to 2010, white families, on average, earned about $2 for every $1 that black and Hispanic families made.


But the disparity in terms of wealth (based on savings, property and retirement accounts, minus mortgages, car loans and credit card debts) has been and continues to be even greater between white families and black and Hispanic ones.


Prior to the recession, white families were about four times as wealthy as minority ones, according to the Urban Institute. By 2010, whites were about six times wealthier.


In terms of dollars, the average white family had about $632,000 in wealth. Their black counterparts had only $98,000 and Hispanics $110,000. Between 2007 and 2010, Hispanic families lost 44% of their total wealth and African-American families lost 31%. Meanwhile, the total wealth of white families dropped by only 9%.


The Urban Institute found that the retirement funds of African-American families lost 35% of value between 2007 and 2010, while the funds held by white families gained in value by 9%.


“Given the dynamics of the housing recovery and the rebound in the stock market, the wealth gap might still be growing,”Annie Lowrey of The New York Times wrote, “further dimming the prospects for economic advancement for current and future generations of Americans from minority groups.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Wealth Gap Among Races Widened Since Recession (by Annie Lowrey, New York Times)

As National Unemployment Rate Stabilizes, Rate for African-Americans Rises Again (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Median Income for White Families in U.S. Almost Double Blacks and Latinos (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

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


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