Wealth gap widens between Whites and minorities

US Wealth Gap Minding The Gap
In this Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 photo, Gerald Terrell, the senior trustee for the Mount Zion First African Baptist Church, stands in the church’s offices in Charlottesville, Va. He says the church sits just across the street from a public housing project where children of families often don’t have the advantages that wealthier families consider basic. At least when he was a boy, growing up in segregated central Florida, those with limited education knew they could find a job in agriculture or a factory. Today, “it’s harder because we’ve moved from an industrial society to a technological society. And who has the computer at home? The haves,” says Terrell, who volunteers as a mentor to African-American boys. (AP Photo/Adam Geller)

The economic recovery has not been equal among the races, according to a Pew Research Center study released Friday.
The study found that the wealth gap between White households and minorities has widened in recent years.
The wealth of White households was 13 times greater than that of Black households in 2013, versus eight times the wealth in 2010. And the wealth of White households was more than 10 times that of Hispanic households, up from nine times the wealth in 2010.
Pew researchers — analyzing data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances— found that the gap between Whites and Blacks has reached its highest point since 1989. The wealth ratio for Whites-to-Hispanics is at a level not seen since 2001.
Net worth is a measure of the difference between the household’s assets and their liabilities. The typical household had a net worth of $81,400 in 2013, according to the Fed’s survey.
The recession was universally hard on American families as a stock market crash and plunging house prices ate into their net worth. From 2007 to 2010, the median net worth of American families fell 39 percent.
Researchers say a number of factors may be responsible for the uneven recovery: falling income, lower savings rate and different asset holdings.
The median income in minority households fell 9 percent from 2010 and 2013, versus a 1 percent drop in White households. And in turn, researchers say, minority households may have either been forced to draw down from savings to get by or were unable to replenish their savings as much as White households.
Additionally, certain financial assets, such as stocks, recovered more quickly than housing since the recession ended. And White households are more likely than minorities to own stocks, putting them in a better position for a recovery.


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