White Households Have 20 Times the Wealth of Black Homes, Report States

The Pew Research Center said that the disparity between Black and white is wider than it has been in years.

Posted: 03/05/2012 03:44 PM EST

The wealth of white households in the United States stands at 20 times that of the median wealth of Black homes, according to a recently released report by the Pew Research Center.

The report also stated that the household wealth of white Americans is 18 times higher than that of Hispanic homes.

The figures represented the largest disparity since the government began publishing household wealth 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 most recent economic recession.

The Pew Research analysis finds that, in percentage terms, the turbulence in the housing market staring in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took a far greater toll on the wealth of Black and Hispanic-Americans than whites.

In addition, between 2005 to 2009, inflation-adjusted median wealth fell by 66 percent among Hispanic households and 53 percent among Black households, compared with just 16 percent among white households.

As a result of these declines, the report said, the typical Black household had just $5,677 in wealth, which takes account for assets minus debts, in 2009. Meanwhile, the typical Hispanic household had $6,325 in wealth and the typical white household had $113,149.

That disparity may well account for the results of a separate report that indicated that Black families account for a larger share of the population of homeless shelters. The report, by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, said that Black families accounted for nearly 38.8 percent of the shelter population, compared with the 28.8 percent of white families.

Black families are also more likely to be in poverty than their white counterparts. In 2010, nearly one-quarter of Black families were poor, compared to 7.1 percent of white families.

The Pew Research Center’s report is the result of its analysis of economy data surveys sent to thousands of American households by the Census Bureau.

(Photo: Getty Images/Photo Researchers RM)

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