Worsening Wealth Inequality by Race

Tami Luhby, June 21, 2012

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.

The gap between the races widened considerably during the recent economic downturn, which whites weathered better than blacks, Hispanics and Asians.

The latter three groups 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 leap ahead of Asians as the race with the highest median household net worth.


The Great Recession exacerbated the problem. In 2005, the net worth difference wasn’t quite as stark. Whites had 12 times more wealth than blacks and 8 times more than Hispanics.

The main reason blacks and Hispanics did not fare as well during the economic downturn is that home equity 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.

As a result, 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.


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  • AlbertSwearengen

    To expect people who never invented the wheel to perform as equals in a society that put men on the moon is wildly delusional and insane.

  • Not very surprised at all. A lot of predatory lending practices in the States focused on the sizeable Black and Latino communities which helped drive the real estate bubble nationwide.

    I’m not making any excuses for members of these communities though. Thinking you can get something for nothing was delusory….

    • xxxtonygunsxxx

       hispanics dont declare most of their income plus send a lot of it to mexico i know they have money they work 24 7 ive seen them do a roof a day thats 4000 or more  a day between 3 of them and they dont even take lunch start at 5 roof is done at 5. 5000 dollars

    • Oil Can Harry

      Please remember that the “predatory lending” allegedly doled out to nonwhites was the result of banks being accused of discrimination.

      When banks refused to give loans to blacks and browns with cruddy credit they were accused of “redlining” and racism. When the banks, under gov’t pressure,  then gave loans to these same losers it was called “predatory lending”. 

    • The__Bobster

      A lot of the salesmen pushing these “predatory” loans were also black and latrino themselves.

      The whole scandal still ticks me off, as that was MY money they stole, whether directly or indirectly.

    • It was a delusion held by many do-gooders.

       Blacks, Hispanics, and their apologists demanded that banks and lending institutions stop ‘red lining’. The reasoning was that whites had greater equity because they were home owners and that minority wealth would increase if they were given access to cash and credit to buy homes.

      There were reports of Hispanic dish washers working minimum wage jobs living in expensive houses they clearly couldn’t afford.

      As I always say, when it comes to blacks you’re damn if you do and damned if you don’t. The banks were in a no-win situation. Don’t give blacks money, you’re a racist. Give blacks money and you’re guilty of predatory loans.

      File this under ‘be careful what you wish for’.

  • Francis Galton

    I guess delayed gratification is another hallmark of White privilege.

  • Southern__Hoosier

    When nearly a million illegals  get work permits, guess what will happen to wages and the wealth gap? It’s called supply and demand. Something Chairman Obama doesn’t  seem to understand.

  • Dave4088

    According to MSNBC, this just means there’s more racism that must be remedied by more forcible wealth transfers.

  • KenelmDigby

    Noted internet pundit, Steve Sailer, has done a great deal of quality research indicated that the present
    financial catastrophe – that has gone on for far too long, and has wrecked the western world (just look what has happened to Greece and Spain), was primarily instigated by American ‘diversity’ policies.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    put computer on standby go buy ammo….by more…

  • Detroit_WASP

    I saw housing prices in Detroit going up as the neighborhoods were going down (turning from white to black)  I knew something was wrong!