Wealth Gap Between Whites, Minorities Widest in 25 Years

Census data show ratio is 20 to 1 between whites, blacks
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2011 7:51 AM CDT
The wealth gap is at its widest in 25 years between whites and minorities.   (©The.Comedian)

(Newser) – Thanks to the recession, the wealth gap between whites and minorities is at its widest level in 25 years. Census data show that the median wealth of white US households was $113,149 in 2009: That's 20 times that of black households ($5,677) and 18 times that of Hispanic households ($6,325), the AP reports. One big reason: Predominantly younger minorities likely lost value in their main asset, their home, when the housing market crashed. Older white people, on the other hand, are more likely to have holdings in the stock market, which started rebounding in mid-2009.

The wealth gap was at its narrowest in 1995, at 7 to 1 for both blacks and Hispanics. During the housing boom, Hispanics in particular saw their wealth jump as the construction industry thrived; many bought homes in states that later saw their real estate bubbles burst. Since 2005, the median wealth of Hispanics declined 66%. For black people, it dropped 53%. White people, on the other hand, only saw a 16% dip—from $134,992 to $113,149. During the same time period, Asian household wealth plummeted from $168,103—at the time, the top spot-—to $78,066.

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