Recovery From the Great Recession Has Not Been Colorblind

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A Pew study found that the net worth of white households is 10 times that of Hispanics and 13 times that of blacks.

The Great Recession took a toll on all Americans. But even though the economy has bounced back, the aftershocks have been especially hard on blacks and Hispanics, the result of which is an ever broadening wealth divide along racial and ethnic lines.

That’s according to a new Pew Research Center report, which found that white households had a median wealth eight times greater than black households in 2010 and nine times greater than Hispanic households. By 2013, whites’ median net worth was 13 times that of African-Americans and 10 times that of Hispanics. The report said:

The current gap between blacks and whites has reached its highest point since 1989, when whites had 17 times the wealth of black households. The current white-to-Hispanic wealth ratio has reached a level not seen since 2001.

The median net worth of American families taken as a whole took a hit during the Great Recession, a 39.4 percent reduction overall, Pew says. But, once again, a closer look at the racial and ethnic breakdown is startling.

“Between 2007 and 2010, the net worth for white families fell by $53,900 to $138,600; by $2,600 for black families to $16,600; and by $7,600 to $16,000 for Hispanic families,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said.

Since 2010, whites have recovered somewhat, increasing their wealth by 2.4 percent by 2013. Meanwhile, African-Americans experienced a 33.7 percent drop in wealth and Hispanics had a 14.3 percent drop.

Overall, regardless of ethnicity or race, median wealth is still less than its pre-recession level, the report said.

“The racial and ethnic wealth gaps in 2013 are at or about their highest levels observed in the 30 years for which we have data,” Pew said.

Pew used data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances to create the report.

What do you think of the Pew report? Do its results surprise you? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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