Racial Income and Wealth Gaps

Blacks still far behind whites in wealth and income, By Tanzina Vega, June 27, 2016, CNN Money: “Blacks in the United States continue to lag far behind whites in key areas of economic well-being like wealth, income and homeownership, a new report from the Pew Research Center finds.  While these trends have been consistent for decades, what’s particularly notable is that these disparities between blacks and whites persist regardless of the level of education they attain, said Juliana Horowitz, an associate director of research at Pew…”

Racial Wealth Gap

  • Whites have 12 times the wealth of blacks, By Tami Luhby, February 18, 2015, CNN Money: “The numbers say it all.  The typical white family had accumulated more than $134,200 in wealth in 2013, while black families scraped together a little more than $11,000 and Hispanic families $13,700, according to a new Urban Institute report.  It’s yet another example of how financial inequality is pervading this country and it’s is only getting worse. Whites now have 12 times the wealth of blacks and nearly 10 times more than Hispanics. But in 1995, the spread was only 7 times for blacks and 6 times for Hispanics…”
  • The corrosive impact of America’s growing wealth gap, By Aimee Picchi, February 18, 2015, CBS News: “The idea that everyone has a chance to get ahead in life is a defining belief of American life. But the more complicated reality is that a family’s wealth has a huge impact on how far people get.  Unfortunately for many Americans, the wealth gap — or the difference between the assets of the poor and the rich — has been growing over the past several decades, making it harder than ever for certain groups to climb the economic ladder. Families near the bottom of the wealth distribution actually ended up in debt in 2013, a backward step from having no wealth in 1963, according to a new analysis from the Urban Institute. Blacks and Hispanics are also falling behind, the think tank said in a report on Wednesday…”
  • The racial wealth gap we hardly talk about: What happens in retirement, By Jonnelle Marte, February 18, 2015, Washington Post: “Much has been said about the racial wealth gap and how the financial crisis widened that disparity, especially as minorities have had a harder time keeping their homes and rebuilding their portfolios.  But there’s another side to those challenges that doesn’t get as much attention — the retirement savings gap.  If minorities are less likely to get an inheritance from a family member than a white person is, or to have wealth to fall back on when they want to buy a house or start a business, they are likely to have less money to save for retirement, too. And if they are saving, the weaker safety net makes it more likely that they’ll have to raid that reserve or take on debt when things go wrong…”

Household Wealth

The typical household, now worth a third less, By Anna Bernasek, July 27, 2014, New York Times: “Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too. The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially. The Russell Sage study also examined net worth. . .”