Wealth Gap Between Whites and Blacks Widens, Study Finds
Money

Wealth Gap Between Whites and Blacks, Hispanic Households Widens

(File: Image)

black couple arguing moneyNew research by Urban Institute’s Opportunity and Ownership Project suggests wealth disparity from white households to black and Hispanic households has widened.

From the Urban Institute:

In 2010, white families averaged six times the wealth of black and Hispanic households ($632,000 versus $98,000 and $110,000, respectively), up from a 5-to-1 ratio in 1983. Wealth is total assets, such as bank and retirement accounts and home value, minus debts, including mortgages, student loans, and credit-card balances. The income gap, by comparison, is much smaller. In 2010, the average household income for whites was $89,000, about twice the $46,000 average for black and Hispanic families and roughly the same ratio as in 1983.

As whites, blacks, and Hispanics age, their wealth trajectories — in absolute and relative terms — diverge sharply. Early in their wealth-building years (ages 32—40), white families in 1983 had an average net worth of $184,000. In 2010, near their peak wealth-building period (ages 59—67), their net worth was up to $1.1 million. In contrast, average black wealth rose from $54,000 to $161,000, while Hispanic wealth increased from $46,000 to $226,000.

“Wealth isn’t just money in the bank, it’s insurance against tough times, tuition to get a better education and a better job, savings to retire on, and a springboard into the middle class. In short, wealth translates into opportunity,” the book “Less than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation reads.

The income disparity was less stark.

“As whites, blacks, and Hispanics age, their wealth trajectories — in absolute and relative terms — diverge sharply. Early in their wealth-building years (ages 32—40), white families in 1983 had an average net worth of $184,000. In 2010, near their peak wealth-building period (ages 59—67), their net worth was up to $1.1 million. In contrast, average black wealth rose from $54,000 to $161,000, while Hispanic wealth increased from $46,000 to $226,000.”


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