Racial wealth divide worsens with recession

The divide in wealth among whites, Black and Hispanics is only worsening with the recession.

CAHS recently analyzed Opportunity in Connecticut and found significant gaps in income, education and wealth among racial groups.

According to CNN Money, analyzing census data, the same patterns exists and is worsening nationally:

"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 Economic Policy Institute, examining Federal Reserve data, finds similar divides between  increasing as income and wealth drops at various rates. Overall:

"In terms of wealth, only the richest American families have come out of the Great Recession relatively unscathed. Significant declines in wealth have been broadly felt. But the losses to black and Hispanic families are particularly damaging because they are quite large, and they were experienced by groups that had very low levels of wealth even before the recession hit."

Unchecked, CNN concludes,  these trends mean worsening divide and catastrophic economic implications for all of us:

"The widened wealth chasm could have major ramifications going forward, experts said. Having less wealth and home equity means it will be more difficult for blacks and Hispanics to send their children to college, which gives them a leg up on landing good jobs, said Roderick Harrison, senior research scientist at Howard University. That will further extend the wealth gap."

Opportunity on Connecticut offers policy recommendations to address the opportunity gap and address family economic success for all residents.

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