Clicky

Wealth Inequality Worsening by Race - The Feminist Wire

Wealth Inequality Worsening by Race

CNN Money shows the impact of the Great Recession on Americans' wealth, and race is a major factor.

White Americans have 22 times more wealth than blacks — a gap that nearly doubled during the Great Recession. The median household net worth for whites was $110,729 in 2010, versus $4,995 for blacks, according to recently released Census Bureau figures.The difference is similarly notable when it comes to Hispanics, who had a median household net worth of $7,424. The ratio between white and Hispanic wealth expanded to 15 to 1.African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians saw their median household net worth fall by roughly 60% between 2005 and 2010, while the median net worth for white households slipped only 23%. This allowed whites to achieve more household net worth than Asians.

The Pew Research Center cites the housing market as the primary force behind the staggering numbers for blacks and Hispanics. Home equity generally makes up more of their wealth than it does for whites. The housing bubble that preceded the collapse pushed up homeownership rates among blacks and Hispanics, who relied more heavily on high-cost subprime loans to finance their purchases. Consequently, the implosion of the real estate market had a more devastating impact on black and Hispanic communities.

Asians, meanwhile, are more concentrated on the West Coast, which was hit harder by the mortgage meltdown. And the arrival of new Asian immigrants in the last decade contributed to the decline in overall wealth, according to Rakesh Kochhar, co-author of the Pew Research Center report on wealth.

Read more: CNN Money