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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