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%.
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.
“The implications will be with us into the next generation, which will have greater difficulty in getting the kinds of jobs needed to start saving and building wealth,” Harrison said.
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