New Pew Study Shows Increased Wealth Gap Between Whites and Minorities

Another sobering report on income disparity in the US.

Race and class continues to be a fundamental factor in the social inequality that exists in the US.

The destruction of the living standards of Blacks and Latinos has been ongoing, it is not just a consequence of the latest recession.

I think the starting point in all of this is to have a basic understanding that we live in a society that is divided by the rich and poor.

The “wealth gap” is nothing new.

That gap will always exist in a class society.

Then there’s the political side of it, in which political & economic policy’s are created and maintained by the government for the exclusive benefit of the ruling class, the wealthy elite not for the benefit of working people, people of color.

This economic horror that we are experiencing is a daily reality for working class Blacks and Latinos.

That such an enormous wealth gap exists, like the current one, is a clear sign that we do in fact live in an unequal, unjust and undemocratic society.

Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics
Twenty-to-One

By Rakesh Kochhar, Richard Fry and Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends
July 26, 2011

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.

The Pew Research Center analysis finds that, in percentage terms, the bursting of the housing market bubble in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took a far greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites. From 2005 to 2009, inflation-adjusted median wealth fell by 66% among Hispanic households and 53% among black households, compared with just 16% among white households.

As a result of these declines, the typical black household had just $5,677 in wealth (assets minus debts) in 2009, the typical Hispanic household had $6,325 in wealth and the typical white household had $113,149.

Moreover, about a third of black (35%) and Hispanic (31%) households had zero or negative net worth in 2009, compared with 15% of white households. In 2005, the comparable shares had been 29% for blacks, 23% for Hispanics and 11% for whites.

These findings are based on the Pew Research Center’s analysis of data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), an economic questionnaire distributed periodically to tens of thousands of households by the U.S. Census Bureau. It is considered the most comprehensive source of data about household wealth in the United States by race and ethnicity. The two most recent administrations of SIPP that focused on household wealth were in 2005 and 2009. Data from the 2009 survey were only recently made available to researchers.

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