christianpost of all places.  however reporting on stories from CNN and the Pew trust.


"The unbalanced percentages between the ethnic groups represent the largest gap since records began, according to CNN. According to the report, the financial gap between Hispanics, blacks and whites has nearly doubled since first being recorded two decades ago."


"These declines resulted in the average black family to have $5,677 in “wealth” in 2009, with Hispanics slightly higher at $6,325. However, white households had a shockingly different figure at $113,149, according to Taylor.  The measurement of “wealth” for these groups was calculated by subtracting debts from assets." 


What was that about a postracial society?

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I would love to see better breakdowns of these statistics.  My gut feeling is that if you eliminate the top 1% or top 10% of earners, a LOT of the differences disappear.  I may have a negative "wealth" right now myself with mortgage and student loans.  Again, that is just a feeling and I'd love to see the numbers.


But, yep, in the USA there is a bunch of old rich white guys with most of the money...and they barely pay taxes.

That's a good point. There are around 8 million millionaires in the USA and they skew heavily white (and most of them do pay their share of taxes, a guy with 2 or 3 million after running a successful small business for forty years isn't exactly Warren Buffet).


Most of the rich people are white, but most of the white people aren't rich. The average wealth for whites being over $100,000 doesn't mean the average white person has $100,000 in wealth. Like Stephan, I would like to see more of a breakdown.

For those of you who don't mind the Daily Kos:


Note how much of new money in the "post-recession" has went to corporate profits (88%) versus to wage earners (1%).  Now this is just a blog, so I don't have a solid link to that particular data at the moment.  But who owns the companies and stocks?  Oh, that's right, white people.  Rich white men, specifically. 

Because of some concerns regarding the statistics, I located the Pew report, here.  Some clarifying comments:


The numbers are medians. Therefore the effect of Bill Gates or Oprah to skew the numbers are minimal.  If they were means, the effect would be much bigger.


In other words, if you have 5 people, and 4 have 1 dollar, and 1 has 5 billion $, the median is still 1 $, but the mean is 1 billion $. 



  • About a third of Hispanic (31%) and black (35%) households had zero or negative net worth in 2009, compared with 15% of white households. In 2005, the comparable shares had been 23% for Hispanics, 29% for blacks and 11% for whites.
  • About a quarter of all Hispanic (24%) and black (24%) households in 2009 had no assets other than a vehicle, compared with just 6% of white households. These percentages are little changed from 2005.
  • During the period under study, wealth disparities also increased within the Hispanic community. The top 10% of Hispanic households saw their share of all Hispanic household wealth rise from 56% in 2005 to 72% in 2009.


Stephan's comment is still important to remember, and is rewardingly skeptical.  But the point is, by using median, you do eliminate the outliers which probably includes the top 1% if not top 10% of earners.   This additional information may not be enough but it is the best I could find at this point.


Also, this is looking at trends of change, not just current numbers:

The Pew Research analysis also finds that the median wealth of white households is 18 times that of Hispanic households and 20 times that of black households. These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest in the quarter century since the government first published such data, and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession.




complete report


The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009.

These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009.


THis report has a lot more detail.



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