Study: Large Gap in Net Worth Between Whites, Minorities

Rob Varnon, Connecticut Post, Sept. 21, 2009

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The Washington-based Corporation for Enterprise Development and its local partner in the study, Connecticut Voices for Children, released the Connecticut Family Assets Report Card Monday. According to a review of net worth by race, using 2006 and 2004 U.S. Commerce statistics, Connecticut had the second highest rate of racial disparity in the nation. The median net worth of a white-headed household was $195,771, while minority-headed households was $3,000.

According to the report, the largest gap nationally was in New York, where the median net worth for a white family was $108,218, compared to $855 for a minority family. The study only contained data on 33 states.

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The study takes into account savings, home equity, business ownership and other investments and income. It also rates the states on access to health care, educational attainment and other factors upon which household wealth can be built. Connecticut received an overall grade of B.

One of the study’s authors, Joachim Hero, a CVC research associate, said he doesn’t have information on why minorities are faring so badly in the state, whether racism is playing a part or if there are factors other than skin color or heritage. “It’s hard to say whether the reason is tied to race specifically or low income,” he said.

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“We would expect it will be much worse in ’08 or ’09” because, Hero said, urban areas with high minority populations have been hit hard by foreclosures and high unemployment.

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