December 12, 2014

Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession

Wealth Inequality by Race

The Great Recession, fueled by the crises in the housing and financial markets, was universally hard on the net worth of American families. But even as the economic recovery has begun to mend asset prices, not all households have benefited alike, and wealth inequality has widened along racial and ethnic lines.

The wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, compared with eight times the wealth in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Likewise, the wealth of white households is now more than 10 times the wealth of Hispanic households, compared with nine times the wealth in 2010.

Wealth Gaps by RaceThe 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. (Asians and other racial groups are not separately identified in the public-use versions of the Fed’s survey.)

Leaving aside race and ethnicity, the net worth of American families overall — the difference between the values of their assets and liabilities — held steady during the economic recovery. The typical household had a net worth of $81,400 in 2013, according to the Fed’s survey — almost the same as what it was in 2010, when the median net worth of U.S. households was $82,300 (values expressed in 2013 dollars).

The stability in household wealth follows a dramatic drop during the Great Recession. From 2007 to 2010, the median net worth of American families decreased by 39.4%, from $135,700 to $82,300. Rapidly plunging house prices and a stock market crash were the immediate contributors to this shellacking.

Our analysis of Federal Reserve data does reveal a stark divide in the experiences of white, black and Hispanic households during the economic recovery. From 2010 to 2013, the median wealth of non-Hispanic white households increased from $138,600 to $141,900, or by 2.4%.

Americans' Wealth Since Great RecessionMeanwhile, the median wealth of non-Hispanic black households fell 33.7%, from $16,600 in 2010 to $11,000 in 2013. Among Hispanics, median wealth decreased by 14.3%, from $16,000 to $13,700. For all families — white, black and Hispanic — median wealth is still less than its pre-recession level.

A number of factors seem responsible for the widening of the wealth gaps during the economic recovery. As the Federal Reserve notes, the median income of minority households (blacks, Hispanics and other non-whites combined) fell 9% from its 2010 to 2013 surveys, compared with a decrease of 1% for non-Hispanic white households. Thus, minority households may not have replenished their savings as much as white households or they may have had to draw down their savings even more during the recovery.

Also, financial assets, such as stocks, have recovered in value more quickly than housing since the recession ended. White households are much more likely than minority households to own stocks directly or indirectly through retirement accounts. Thus, they were in better position to benefit from the recovery in financial markets.

All American households since the recovery have started  to reduce their ownership of key assets, such as homes, stocks and business equity. But the decrease in asset ownership tended to be proportionally greater among minority households. For example, the homeownership rate for non-Hispanic white households fell from 75.3% in 2010 to 73.9% in 2013, a percentage drop of 2%. Meanwhile, the homeownership rate among minority households decreased from 50.6% in 2010 to 47.4% in 2013, a slippage of 6.5%.

While the current wealth gaps are higher than at the beginning of the recession, they are not at their highest levels as recorded by the Fed’s survey. Peak values for the wealth ratios were recorded in the 1989 survey — 17 for the white-to-black ratio and 14 for the white-to-Hispanic ratio. But those values of the ratios may be anomalies driven by fluctuations in the wealth of the poorest — those with net worth less than $500. Otherwise, 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.

Topics: Economics and Personal Finances, Economic Recession, Wealth, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Demographics

  1. Photo of Rakesh Kochhar

    is an associate director of research at Pew Research Center.

  2. Photo of Richard Fry

    is a senior researcher focusing on economics and education at Pew Research Center.


  1. Anonymous1 year ago

    where are you getting these statistics ??

  2. Juan Reynoso1 year ago

    By Juan Reynoso – WTP- activist.
    The fact is that most Americans are being brainwash and indoctrinate into believing that Capitalism and the neo liberalism economic system is better than Democrat socialism.
    Neoliberalism, Is the Republicans and Democrats politico-economic theory favoring free trade, privatization, minimal government intervention in business and the reduced of public expenditure on social services and education. This economic politico theory is the result of the slavery of the American working class and the huge inequality of wealth and income in the U.S. The only winners of this ill neo liberal economic system are the oligarchs, the elite U.S. Corporations, the Bankers and the corrupt Washington politicians that betray the American people.
    The Neo-Liberalist, place money and power before the people, they believe that the private sector “Corporations, the Banking system and all services including the communication system should be privatized to benefit the investors and owners and not the general public; they believe that every man is responsible for their economic and welfare and that they do not have any responsibility toward the community and the citizens of this country, they do not want any government controls so they can exploit the community to enrich themselves. The result of this ill system was the economic catastrophe of 2008 and the continuation of this ill system will be the down fall of the Dollar and the world economic, in 2016 – 2017.
    Now Democrat socialism is placing the people before given money and power to the few oligarchs and corporate elite that control our country. This economic system is essential to stop the concentration of wealth and benefit the whole country by promoting education, good jobs, living wages, quality of life, health and minimize poverty. The Neo-liberalism was implemented by Ronald Reagan and followed by all presidents, this economic system give control of the country to the oligarchs and the elite multinational corporations to enrich themselves, making millions of Americans economic slaves by controlling labor the income of the American working class and the market place. Neo-Liberalism opens the gate for the greedy corporations to monopolized, control commerce and destroys small business to eradicate competition. America today is a conglomerate of elite business monopoly that controls our economic and destroyed the dream of millions of Americans that today live in poverty and extreme poverty. The choice is ours; to continue on this path of self-destruction and continue promoting this Neo-Liberalist system of greed and destruction or change to a Democrat more social economic system that will be beneficial to all Americans and not the few oligarchs that control our country.
    Democrat socialism.…
    We can learn a lot about public policy from the Nordic nations…
    Better education for all…
    U.S. Politicians from both right and left could learn from the Nordic countries…
    The Nordic countries could teach us about teamwork in education…
    The Media is a propaganda machinery of the oligarchs that control our country.…
    What’s happening to the American Dream?. Why we become economic slaves.…
    The American Dream? Long Gone!…
    Goodbye Middle Class…

  3. Cynthia Daughenbaugh1 year ago

    Where did they get their data from because where I live no one makes that kind of money in a year ever! Our year to date last year was 39,000 no where near that blown up number of 141,000 a year, what a crock!

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      It’s net worth, not yearly income, genius

  4. matthew sisk2 years ago

    Although this isn’t the point of the article…. I’m a little disappointed you called the Great Recession a “crisis” when it was clearly a massive robbery and fraud orchestrated by the banks… Anyways sweet article.

  5. Fernando2 years ago

    This article and its headline are typical examples of how organizations use research to push their agendas. The headline should focus on the fact that between 2007 and 2013 all households had their net wealth decrease by 40%. And Asians were probably left out because they are a successful minority and that goes against the messaging this article is trying to portrait.

    1. Daniel2 years ago

      That’s honestly irrelevant, unless you’re trying to make a racial accusation that the reason that blacks and Hispanics are less successful is that they’re innately inferior to asians. The racial disparity in this country is a problem, sorry you can’t see it because it doesn’t happen to every group equally.

  6. IWPCHI2 years ago

    We are curious as to how the Pew researchers were able to tease out from the Survey of Consumer Finances data they cited (…) (which did not distinguish three “racial” categories but only two) this data on “Black”, “White” and “Hispanic” wealth? The data was obtained by in-person surveys in which respondents could only categorize themselves as either “Nonwhite or Hispanic” or “White non-Hispanic” (see box, p. 12 and methodology explanations on pages 37-39).
    It seems to us that the far more compelling data to be found in the scf14 is that on the wealth of the top 10% of the US population and how it compares to that of the “bottom” 90%. “Changes in the shares of wealth held by different segments of the wealth distribution have been less cyclical than income. The wealth share of the top 3 percent climbed from 44.8 percent in 1989 to 51.8 percent in 2007 and 54.4 percent in 2013 (figure B). As with income, the shares of wealth held by the next 7 highest percent of families changed very little, hovering between 19 and 22 percent over the past 25 years, and registering 20.9 percent in 2013. Similar to the situation with income, the rising wealth share of the top 3 percent of families is mirrored by the declining share of wealth held by the bottom 90 percent.
    The share of wealth held by the bottom 90 percent fell from 33.2 percent in 1989 to
    24.7 percent in 2013.” (… note at bottom of graph, p.10.)
    In other words, the highly inflated claimed wealth for the “white” population – which includes the vast holdings of the mostly white US capitalist class, making up 10% of the population – masks the fact that the VAST majority (~75%) of “white”, “black” and Hispanic workers are all splitting under 25% of the national wealth among themselves! That, it seems to us, is the real “take-away”: there is absolutely no future for the multiracial US working class under capitalism!

    Workers of the World, Unite!

    Independent Workers Party of Chicago
    Find us on Facebook, Twitter and WordPress

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      I wish people could unite

  7. William Astle2 years ago

    1. What if inflation (the government spending MORE than it takes in, which raises local, state and U.S. income taxes) were totally STOPPED ………WHAT WOULD HAPPEN THEN?

    2. How come Ben Carson is doing OK!?

    Mr. Astle

  8. Aaron2 years ago

    Yet if you look at the data, educated blacks earn more than educated whites per capita. It is when you use household income that they fall short. That is because most black families are single mothers with only one income.

    1. Roxanne Simpkins1 year ago

      No your facts are wrong. Yes, a small mimority of educated black men make a small percentage more than white women. However, there are more white women in the workforce and in higher paying jobs than all blacks put together.

      Choosing to ignore facts, ignore the plight of blacks, and even complain about whites misfortune in comparison to the more devastating affects of blacks,, shows your racism.

      1. Daisy1 year ago

        I agree with you Roxanne, it’s not that people should focus on race but the government stats do not lie. And the strange thing is if for instance you look at York university, half the graduates are black, yet the job stats are super low.

      2. Adanna Barnard Davis1 year ago

        Read this study this is an actual scholarly journal article…read and learn:

        The reverse wage gap among educated White and Black women
        Jonathan D. Fisher · Christina A. Houseworth

        “We find that Black female nurses earn 9%more at the mean and median than White female nurses, controlling for selection into nursing employment.Among K-12 teachers, Black females earn 7% more than White females at the median. There is no Black–White wage gap among all women with a bachelor’s degree. Differences in opportunities for education and marriage between White and Black women may explain why highly educated Black females earn on par with highly educated White females.”

  9. Rachel M.2 years ago

    You know, this is going to sound very traditional and old-fashioned, but this article has not considered marriage/divorce rates. I live in the Rural South, in a community that is mostly white. Those who are really poor are often those with multiple marriages, multiple children by different people, and no stable job…mostly because of their own lack of commitment. I have read that most African-American children are born to single mothers. I would imagine that would affect the net worth of anybody, regardless of race. All of these articles make it sound like minority groups are at a disadvantage. Yes, if you are an illegal immigrant and can barely speak the language, than you are at a disadvantage, but does that mean “whites” are at fault? If only one adult, white or black, is head of the household and the only one working, then their net worth is lower. You cannot blame whites for that, but undoubtedly, people make their case for it. I am liberal when it comes to economic policy, but I also recognize that many people need a good dose of responsibility. The reason everyone’s net worth has decreased is because there are no good jobs anymore…for anybody!!!

  10. Chol Opiew2 years ago

    To fair, you should include Asian in the survey. I maybe agree with statement said that, “White more likely to have stocks than black households.” That depend on employers, some will tell you about 401k when you get hire but not about stocks. There are still a lot stereotypes toward Black-Hispanic that is why a lot minority more likely to loose their jobs to non-white. That was mean contributor for black and Hispanic to loose households income in the Wealth Inequality Survey.

  11. Bobby2 years ago

    Why did you leave out Asians?

    Oh right, because they make MORE money than whites and so that destroys your entire narrative of “white people bad, all other races good”.

    1. Buy Black2 years ago

      Not sure why Asians aren’t included but if you do a little, tip of the ice berg level, research – you’ll quickly find that Asians do have higher median incomes in the US but not Wealth. An overwhelming majority of the Billionaires in the US are white, even if they have never worked a day in their life, they can inherit millions/billions through generational wealth i.e. Elaine Marshall.

      Making ‘MORE money’ does not equate to more wealth. Unfortunately there is historical evidence to indicate that traditionally white people have exploited most ethnic groups globally, including many Asian countries through various forms of warfare and colonialism. There’s a great book to disclose some of such evidence called the ‘Color of Wealth’. If reading is not your preferred method of collecting data, there’s a documentary called ‘The One Percent’ and ‘Traces of the Trade’ that outlines some of the inequities. For further reading and sources to support any of the statements I have made please reply.

      1. Jason12342 years ago

        @Buy Black, regarding billion dollar (and even million dollar) fortunes/inheritance that you bring up: the survey cites ‘median’ averages not ‘mean’ averages. Outliers (those with millions/billions) would not affect the median.

        Making more money quickly translates into wealth if you are smart about it.

        It is a crime against truth and intellectually dishonest to not include or release data on other races/ethnic groups. One has to wonder why they don’t?

        The liberal narrative in this country would change rapidly if “all of a sudden” it was some minority group on top of the heap.

      2. Mcbain2 years ago

        Do the book or video you recommend discuss the fact that blacks in the US have a median household income of $33,300 per year while half of the blacks in Africa live on $1.25 per day? I guess they should be pretty happy that their ancestors (not themselves) were exploited. I don’t see any asking to return to the good old homeland. Did it mention how many wealthy blacks leave their money to charity rather than pass it on to their children? Did it mention that the Occupy Wall Street crew if they make $50,000 are in the top 1% globally and did it say what steps these people are taking to divest themselves of their wealth to level the global playing field? Did it mention that the union leaders seen at the demonstrations earn $2-500,000 per year?

  12. G33K2 years ago

    Im 13 years old and I took the time out of my day to look this up based on my 2 previous classses in Writing class discussing Black vs Hispanic vs White Stereotypes. Its easily shown that the Whites compared to their net-worth are treating US (Both Black and Hispanics) as inferior. Im enraged at the fact that after decades-scratch that- hundreds of years of inequality, our advanced society still has come to the realization that we need change. Not the change we supposedly had when whites aren’t openly racist, the real change- fair equality in both the social and economic classes. I go to a school that has the main goal to prepare students to: enter, succeed, and graduate from college. I say this because with this new generation(me being included) we can make a change. Now i want to study in the arts, but i can be an inspiration to other blacks that they can also make it to my level when i grow up and succeed. For those who took the time to read this. thank you.

    1. Tim2 years ago

      I hope you do big things, and are a great role model for those around you. Never stop thinking of ways to solve the problems. Older generations often get caught in the rut of identifying problems and feeling like they have to convince others it exists. Identify the solutions.

    2. Mish2 years ago

      I hope you become an inspiration to all humans, not just ‘other blacks’.

    3. bestxXbudXxlayf1 year ago

      You go, Glen coco!!

  13. xsnake2 years ago

    Most of the rich are getting richer lately, because of the high stock market. And it is up, because interest rates are to low to invest in the bond market.
    And this is because the Fed has been printing money at the rate of $85 billion a month.
    Which also makes the poor’s (and everyone else’s) dollar go not nearly as far.
    Add to that, the Administration’s anti economic growth policies, by making it tough on businesses in numerous ways.
    “Hope and Change……welcome to the early day of the national collective.

  14. Richard Stark2 years ago

    Several comments:
    1. Why did you not include the Asian statistics in the article? Is it because it would show that they are even better then the white, and it would disturb the facts you are trying to promote?
    2. I find it interesting to note that the white/black inequality widen significantly faster during the Obama tenure years. Is it because of his generosity with the American tax money toward the black minority?
    3. To get a better picture of the inequalities in the USA there are much more facts that need to be addressed beside the financial information on this article. Facts about the broken families, single mothers homes, unemployment, luck of education, inability and/or unwillingness to learn in the minority communities, and probably most of all the effect of drugs on the economy in the minority communities.

  15. Ardan Michael Blum2 years ago

    Do visit a project statistics.paloaltovseastpaloalt… < aimed at improving the living conditions in East Palo Alto, San Mateo County, California

  16. Milton Dreyfun2 years ago

    Why aren’t Asians included in this?

  17. Syaz2 years ago

    I’m surprised no one has raised concern that this is all by the fault of usury.

  18. Lowell Thompson2 years ago

    Thanks for the cogent, precise but detailed data.

    I’ve got a blog where I ask people “What’s your racial IQ?” And this gives me the answer to my latest question.

  19. Brewmaster2 years ago

    The cause of the difference is simple. In about 1970 the out of wedlock birth rate for Blacks was 50%. Now it is almost 90%. The economic ball game has changed. The currency has shifted from a strong back to intellect and education. I interviewed several engineers and “zero” ever had a Black student in one of their engineering classes. Blacks have to “join” the technical revolution rather than claiming that they are victims and stop dropping out of high school or taking the “fluff” classes in school and colleges.

    1. Nathan2 years ago

      The problem started in 1970? Wow, really dude. I would say it goes at least as far back to colonialism and slavery, but, what do I know? I only took the “fluff” classes in college like Western civ and world history. The destruction of the black nuclear family is certainly a huge problem, maybe it’s because the fathers are in prison, maybe? The war on drugs, when did that start?

    2. DaRon2 years ago

      @ Brewmaster Um… what circle of engineers did you talk to? this must have been a small circle. North Carolina A&T State Univ. has one of the top engineering programs in (not just the state of NC, not just in the south, but) in the country. NC A&T is also a historically black university and produces many of the premiere engineering prospects in the country. black, white, indian, asian and others come here to get their degrees. So again I ask, what limited circle did you speak with? I wont entertain the other non factual information you spewed in your post. there’s too much to educate on “why” there is a disparity, but you’re “fluff” post definitely didnt not

      1. Karen2 years ago

        And a nice proportion of the engineers at Auburn University, a predominantly white university are black. So I don’t know who you talked to.

    3. Rose2 years ago

      Thanks for your personal opinion. Now, time to move on to the facts. Everyone ready? Lets begin.

  20. Concerned Citizen2 years ago

    Why aren’t Indians ,Arabs, and Asians included in this study?

    Oh probably because then the story wouldn’t quite look how you want it. You want the story that the white man is holding down the brown people.

    My bad.

    1. Frank2 years ago

      My thoughts exactly.

    2. tim2 years ago

      If I were to venture a guess, it’s because they weren’t a statistically viable category. I don’t know how many people were included in the study, but I’d venture to say not enough to include asians, arabs, and indians. In order to get a large enough sample from those ethnicities you’d have to have a proportionally larger pool of blacks and whites. It’s probably cost prohibitive.

  21. bill2 years ago

    economic discrimination is far worse than political discrimination. your black, here’s your paycheck 20 times less in value

    1. Phil2 years ago

      This study is of net worth, not income. If you’d like to know, black families make about 2/3 of white families. 38k for black families, 39k for Hispanic families, 62k for white families, 75k for Asian families. ~2009 census

    2. Bill W2 years ago

      1. The article is talking about net worth i.e. assets – liabilities, not income. It’s entirely possible to have very high net worth and low to moderate income.

      2. How do you know it has anything to do with discrimination? Funny how Asians seem to have no problem in this majority white, supposedly discriminatory, society. Look at the census data provided by the other poster. Asians average income exceeded that of whites. Asians also outscore whites and, by extension, all other racial groups, with monotonous regularity on all those supposed racist and white biased IQ and other standardized tests. You think it’s a coincidence that Asians score highest on IQ tests and have the highest incomes? Sorry to break it to you, but it’s not. It’s also not a coincidence that other racial groups who score lower have lower incomes and lower net worth. Asians are on average the most intelligent race, next comes whites and Hispanics who are about tied, then comes blacks. And yes, since IQ tests measure things like logical reasoning ability, spacial skills, etc that have a tremendous real world impact on a person’s abilities they are a very good indicator of someone’s potential earning power.

  22. B Pear2 years ago

    This is a reflection on three fundamental principles.
    First; you must stop the reproducing mindset that as a black race you have automatic limits. As my mother told me when I was a “young black child” don’t act how people expect you to act, and my father followed up with, “use that thing on top of your shoulder more than a hat rack, THINK”.
    Second: Stop spending on the image of rich, and actually invest in value. What good is a wardrobe that has over thousands of dollars in jewelry and clothing in a closet, when you don’t own your house? GET AND STAY OUR OF DEBT.
    Third: Poverty does not discriminate. Education is a tool not the answer, from school to church. The answer only comes when you “work out and apply”. Time is our best friend if you consistently invest, save, and keep yourself from the traps that don’t create wealth. It’s not the bling, the car, the clothes.
    Last: Do it for more than yourself. Learn the word legacy not generation. Legacy leaves something of value and wealth, as generation just has stories.

    1. CJ2 years ago

      I agree that education is the key to success and the whole wardrobe thing but you are missing a huge factor in a child’s success. If you are a black or hispanic kid, chances are that you grow up in a low income household. Therefore you live in a poor area = you go to a not so great school since elementary school all the way to high school. You can do as well as you can but what makes everything actually difficult is that you are still not as prepared for college (what actually matters). Its bigger and harder than what you say. The educational system is set up for you to fail. I lived through all of that. I did well and near perfect at my shitty elementary to high school preparation and got into UC Berkeley, but once you compete at a top school like that… you are screwed. Top schools are where you can easily see the difference in how different each school district prepares their kids for college. My 4.5 university gpa in high school (AP classes.. or 3.9 unweighted gpa) turned into a 3.1 at UC Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology. I work hard but I am not nearly as prepared as my peers where most come from parents who are doctors, researchers, etc. and my mom is a housewife and my dad is a waiter. WE LIVE IN INEQUALITY. It is near impossible to get rid of it.

      1. Christopher Bailey2 years ago

        If you carry on and get through, though, then your own future kids will have all the advantages you didn’t have, and you’ll become the family legend, or one of them, told to your great-great-grandkids; “Remember, Ol’ CJ, how he knew nothing about Molecular and Cell Biology, or medicine, or about how to study, and had next to no funds, and at times he was on the edge of despair, but then he rallied, he strived, and he ended up sweating blood and tears, and although it got easier it never got easy, by hard work and by a humble certainty of his own potential he climbed up that greasy pole so that he was able to say that he had a degree, and then a career, which most people, even today in 2115, couldn’t even dream of.”

        But then the advantages of your peers may not be as real as they appear. Some of those advantages might disappear as you get into your stride. Some other advantages might only be the impression given by people who are arrogant enough to talk and to discount what others have to say. And as for those advantages which are real – the higher the hurdle, the greater the achievement.

        I knew a girl with a mother and a father who were both doctors and with two degrees, one of which was from Oxford, who still ended up stuck in a call centre job in her late twenties and who couldn’t get herself into medical college. Parental advantages fade. The strongest advantage comes from what we did yesterday, from our most recent history, so we can build our own advantage, and if we cease to struggle and go forwards then our advantages will fade away.

        One thing I should have done at university, but didn’t. was figure out a way to discuss our work with a number of my peers. Stick around the people that make you feel good about yourself. Try to avoid those people who – for whatever reason, without them necessarily being at fault – make you feel less good about yourself. Talk to the faculty and seek their help and advice; say that you feel you could do better and ask what it is that you appear not to be doing well.

        You got into UC Berkeley. You are clearly a very smart dude. You’re the sort of guy who’ll be okay even if he suffers a setback.

        Wherever you get to, and however many grandkids you eventually have, remember the inequality and the difficulties and teach your grandkids not to be too hard on all of us losers out there.

      2. Bill W2 years ago

        By your logic all the Irish, Italians, Poles etc who immigrated here dirt poor and in many cases had no education whatsoever would be similarly disadvantaged. The fact is they overcame the education barrier in a generation or two at most.

        1. Pete2 years ago

          Uh, not all of them did. Have you ever been to any part of the rural Appalachias? Or perhaps to the dead steel country in PA and OH? There were a lot of people who busted their butts to make a living, but when manufacturing went away, they dropped right back to the bottom (through ZERO fault of their own).

    2. GM2 years ago

      Love your comments! Thank you.

  23. forgetit3 years ago

    Whats the big surprise? Black people came to USA as slaves which mean they had ZERO anything and could gain ZERO anything. Europeans had about a 300 year head start in USA compared to blacks. Even when they do start gaining someone goes and spoils it by causing a massive recession(which usually hits the poorest the hardest).

    Only way you can close the gap is by waiting for a LONG TIME… or by doing something incredibly drastic.

    1. Santino West2 years ago

      Can you name one country in the World which is safe, prosperous, and peaceful which also has a majority black population? No, you can’t. That’s because there isn’t one.

      1. Nicole A2 years ago

        Zimbabwe, South Africa, Guinea, Kenya and many more. Your belief that no majority African nation is prosperous is skewed by your Eurocentric view of prosperity and your values.

        In most African nation, kids can go outdoors and play, communities are concerned about each other, familes care for their elders, people share resources and use what they need and a united culture exists.

        For European cultures prosperity means having more than you need while you watch others do without, or putting your parents in homes so you can live without guilt, or having kids unable to play outdoors and need constant supervision because human predators are a threat. Euros also like to destroy the environment and call it progress and then have dirty polluted air that gives kids asthma.

        1. Michael Woods2 years ago

          Egads, what a horrible list. Maybe Ghana, Benin, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Senegal would be better candidates to counteract Santino West’s racism.

          1. Bill W2 years ago

            That racism sword is getting pretty rusty. Facts are not racist and stating them is not racist either. The fact is that, on average, blacks in the supposedly racist USA, enjoy a higher standard of living than blacks in any black majority country.

          2. Washburne2 years ago

            You’re mistaken, as a Jamaican the economic stability of the country has collapsed mainly due to the IMF. @Nicole a gave great examples.

        2. Bojansky2 years ago

          Should have just use Barbados and Bahamas. They are almost first world countries and heading there. Over 80%.

          Please check HDI rankings. You will see them.

          1. Bill W2 years ago

            So you think using countries that are “almost first world countries” is going to make a successful argument? How about you try to find one that actually is a first world country? Of course there are lots and lots of first world white majority countries so even if you could find one black majority country that is, you would be way way behind.

          2. Patrick2 years ago

            Only because they are tiny countries, and millions of White tourist dollars. Haiti is what a black island looks like with out us. And Jamaica is par for tbe carribean course.

        3. Bill W2 years ago

          Zimbabwe is anything but prosperous. It’s financial systems are on the verge of collapse, inflation is out of control and the population is starving. The fact that you even try to include this country in your list shows you really have no idea what you are talking about. The others you list are hardly success stories either, at least not compared to western nations like the US, Canada etc. South Africa is quickly following Zimbabwe down the toilet, with extremely high crime, shortages of food and basic necessities and chronic high unemployment. None of these things are traits of a successful nation. They are traits of a third world country.

      2. Education Party2 years ago

        South Africa & Nigeria(great GDP, but still have some issues.)

        1. Bill W2 years ago

          The countries you are naming are just reenforcing his general point. There are no black majority countries that are even close to the US in terms of standard of living. They simply don’t exist. Nigeria and S Africa have:

          1. Horrible crime rates including murder rates that would never be tolerated in the USA at large.

          2. High and chronic unemployment.

          3. Poverty which is far higher than the USA.

          etc etc etc.

          None of the countries any of you are naming are even remotely comparable to the USA which is why you see numerous people desperate to immigrate from those countries to the USA but virtually nobody looking to immigrate from the USA to those countries.

      3. Jasmine2 years ago

        Can you name one nation that is primarily white is safe, prosperous, and peaceful which also has a majority black population? Yes there are a handful of Scandinavian nations that are very close to achieving this. But they still have their issues.

        Also if you look at the paper trail in the African nations that are the opposite, most of the time, actually no all of the time the money that funds the corruption, war, genocide and so on comes from white countries.

      4. Holyby2 years ago

        Barbados, Bahamas, Saint Kitts, Trinidad are majority black and they are in the high development category and climbing. Even Jaimaica has just gotten in.

        Here check HDI rankings. Barbados and Bahamas is almost first world, both are over 80% black. Some SSA African countries have now made it to top quarter of the middle ranking too like Botswana and Gabon.…

        Also if you look at the HDI trend check here. You can see the imrpovements especially in SSA countries.

        1. Anonymous1 year ago

          Those governments are not targeting their citizens either

      5. Ms. Kwai Chang2 years ago

        Tasmania used to be until white convicts were dumped upon them and given guns…………

  24. Richard Humphrey3 years ago

    How can I get access to the actual report? I could not find a link on the Pew Research Center website. Thanks so much!

  25. Steve Harris3 years ago

    White, Black, Hispanic.

    How on Earth did you do research and leave out Asians?

    Is that because you know very well that Asians are doing better than Whites and it goes against the social left wing ideas as to what causes “the wealth gap” in the first place?

    A little hard to point out things like White vs Black as meaning anything other than race must be what causes the disparity because you always show Whites doing better.

    Whites are doing better in school, higher I.Q. lower unemployment, greater wealth, lower rate in prison. Over and over and over and over and over until we are led to believe there can be but one explanation, racism. Racism is the answer. Can’t be anything else to explain it.

    But you purposely hide Asians. Oh, they go to prison less often than Whites? Oh, they have a higher income? Oh, Asians have more wealth? Oh, they do better in school? I see, they score higher on I.Q. tests. Got it, there is a massive conspiracy against Whites in favor of Asians.

    You lose all legitimacy as a research center when you hide the truth from the public.

    What it really comes down to is you, Pew Research Center, do not care about research, you care about left leaning social issues and if you have to hide the truth while filling the public with your numbers to forward your agenda then so be it, you are willing to hide the truth, then continue.

    I just hope you don’t get any government research money to hide the truth.

    1. Robert Hollenbaugh2 years ago

      if you read the above you will see where the FED did not release data on Asians in the public report, of which this PEW summary was based. there is not a conspiracy here.

    2. Z2 years ago

      Indeed. Darn them for “purposefully” hiding the data that was not released by the survey that they presented data from. The lack of such data was noted specifically in the article.

      If you’re going to post a page-long comment, why not actually read the article? I don’t mean to alarm your worldview, but sometimes there’s no conspiracy, just data unavailability. And it’s not like Pew hasn’t posted on the issues you are talking about before:……

      Though, to be frank, Asians (of all types, not just the classic East Asians) represent just 5% of the population. While it’s nice to have the figures reported, the data wouldn’t change the overall trends shown here.

  26. Dave3 years ago

    This is a vital survey. Thanks to PRC for making it happen.

    Opportunism and planning figure large in this survey. Passing down proper core values to the next generation do as well. Living within your means is essential.

    My uncle had a favorite quote: “Never take a temporary advantage over a permanent one.”

  27. Scott3 years ago

    Why are Asians excluded from this survey? Whenever Asians are included in most surveys, the white-black, white-Hispanic gaps cease to be primary, they become the Asian-everyone else gap. Thus, the purpose of this Pew survey is to persuade political policy based upon some sort of “discriminatory action”- past or present. It isn’t explicit in the presentation but works towards the politics of action to resolve the disparity. With the inclusion of Asians in the survey, the disparity argument based upon the aforementioned “action” loses all credibility because the Asian data runs contrary to the political appeal.

    1. Dave3 years ago

      I read another article similar to this one and Asians were on par with whites. Asians had a bit more wrapped up in real estate if I remember correctly.

    2. Roland2 years ago

      As others have pointed out the data on the Asians is not hidden at all. This specific one is for Blacks and Hispanics who have a much more different environment and history than Asians in USA.

      1. Concerned Citizen2 years ago

        No they don’t. Whites treated Asians probably harder than Latinos. We’ve gone to war with all of them, too.

  28. Don3 years ago

    This is a very biased article. It includes only white, black, and Hispanics thereby promoting the notion of white priviledge. Asians have been shown to have higher incomes and greater net worth than whites, yet they are left out of the article.

    1. Steve3 years ago

      So…..the huge disparity between white families and black families is neatly dismissed by you because asians are not part of the formula.
      I guess some people can fool themselves about anything.

      Perhaps you would like to reveal the picture you would see if the asian population were included?

      1. Concerned Citizen2 years ago

        Wait a minute, you don’t want to look at the complete picture, at all the facts, but you want to say others are deluding themselves?

        My mind is blown.

      2. William Williams2 years ago

        Typically all you need to disprove a theory is one counter example. For example if your theory is that white people have created a social system in the United States that excludes minorities from achieving prosperity. Then the presence of a minority group that is prosperous would disprove it. I also think that the hispanic numbers were driven down by large numbers of new immigrants. Most second and third generation hispanic Americans that I have met are quite successful. Often owning small businesses. And hispanic immigrants are certainly not homeowners. If there is a racial component to the numbers it seems to only affect african Americans.

        1. Frederic Christie2 years ago

          No, it actually wouldn’t. That group could just not face the same barriers. The specific claim, “Blacks and Hispanics face discriminatory barriers”, is not disproven by the claim that Asians or Martians or mole people don’t. But, in fact, you and everyone else who repeat the Asian American model minority myth are wrong, ignoring the geographic concentration of Asian Americans in high-income states, the fact that they are usually self-selected immigrants or the recent descendants of those self-selected immigrants, etc. etc. Compare Asian-Americans to whites with proper sociological controls and they virtually always do worse.

      3. Bill W2 years ago

        I hate to break the bad news but Asians repeatedly surpass whites in this supposedly white dominated and discriminatory nation known as America. Asians have higher net worth and higher incomes on average than whites. They also regularly outscore whites on IQ and other tests which are supposedly biased toward whites. This is because the inconvenient reality is, the tests aren’t biased toward whites, the tests are biased in favor of those with higher IQs, and, as such, Asians outscore whites and whites outscore blacks. Not surprisingly groups with higher IQs perform better in the real world achieving higher incomes and accumulating more wealth.

        The final nail in the discrimination coffin explanation for blacks underachieving, is that American blacks far surpass blacks in black majority nations in terms of standard of living. Blacks do far better in a supposedly white dominated discriminatory society than they do in any black majority nation on earth. So do explain to me if discrimination is the reason blacks accumulate less wealth than whites in America why do American blacks accumulate more wealth than blacks in black majority nations where discrimination isn’t a factor?

        1. Pete2 years ago

          The Asian numbers are included in another Pew Report, here:…

          You may notice that they took a MUCH harder hit during the Great Recession than whites. In fact, Asian Americans’ net worth dropped about 53% from 2004-2014. Compare that to 16% for Whites and then tell me there was no racial discrimination in the sub-prime lending insanity.

  29. Dave3 years ago

    If the time value of money is taken into consideration, all races wealth may have decreased over the years.

  30. Tom3 years ago

    This is scary. If this is “average” then there are really a lot of people, white or otherwise, that have almost nothing. Would love to see an age breakout as young people start with nothing and see if that changes the story a bit.

  31. Ramona Kohrs3 years ago

    Thank you, Rakesh Kochhar and Richard Fry, for this useful study. Would you be able to provide some information, data and analysis about the wealth situation of American Indians? Many thanks.

    1. Rakesh Kochhar3 years ago

      Unfortunately not. Due to sample size limitations, American Indians are not separately identified in these surveys.

  32. George Yorba3 years ago

    I thought your research article had value. Your charts clearly show the ratio differences between the median net worth of white as compared to non-white and Hispanic households. I agree that the recovery of wealth in white households might be due to the holding of stock assets. The Hispanic community and non-white community might have not recovered for various reasons. Job losses, for example, could contribute greatly. The United States economy has become increasingly more service oriented instead of manufacturing oriented. Also, losses of real estate values cannot be made up so easily as stock values. Some assets of all of these households cannot be measured so readily for those that are compensation oriented. For example, assets held in pensions and in private life insurance accounts cannot be accounted for with the data you are using.

  33. jimmy3 years ago

    It is disingenuous and misleading to create a wealth report without considering the socioeconomic factors that are strongly affected by attitudes in specific racial and ethnic groups. Race has nothing to do with wealth, except to provide more grist for the race-baiting mills.
    The increase and explicit government support of single-parent, multiple-child families in these groups guarantees they WILL NOT advance economically. Proper education is discouraged, victimhood and dependency is encouraged.
    The single major contribution to household wealth are investments beyond owning one’s home, yet consumerism is rampant. These groups see no reason to save and invest, as they expect government handouts for everything. There is no reason to live below their means.
    How can these groups “replenish their savings” when they don’t have any to begin with, or the education to get jobs that pay better or the will to stop spending on useless luxuries?

    1. Walter3 years ago

      That is the most common misconception that minorities are waiting for government handouts, when in fact that is just false information, as mentioned in any other trusted articles white children are in poverty than any other race, not to forget also that White constitute the majority henceforth they are the ones asking for more benefits than any other race. Furthermore for those of you who keep asking for the Asian race numbers, yes they are out there but they totaled a mere 7% of the population, while Caucasians entitle 70%? Are you kidding me? How does that make it better to add the Asian population, my final thoughts are The once called Europeans now called Whites in America are still benefiting from slavery back in the day, all the property they accumulated has been passed on to the next generations making it easier on the race at hand. Moreover the mere fact that we keep blaming the government and our officials for crying out loud we just elected our first black president and the whole country has made it a big deal. America needs to wake up and be sincere to themselves, these eh equalities have been going on for centuries and will still continue, the idea that people can accumulated wealth by getting an education is a joke, you get an education just to get by, wealth is passed from generations onto the next generations, there is no equality because we are not all starting from the same starting point in this race called life, wake up people.

  34. Ed Abdon3 years ago

    these figures don’t match non minority neighbors in my area,,and my city..after making 180.$ a month in the service for 4 years,,I picked sod,worked in wood cutting factory and finally construction for 30 years,,after counting layoffs,,my average was 20000$ a year,,I lived in trailers most of my life…I tried to find the feds that wrote this survey but have been unable to find them..something is fishy here!!!

    1. Z2 years ago

      Are you in a rural area, perhaps? A lot of rural areas (which tend to be fairly white in many areas) are one of the other areas suffering from endemic poverty, but without quite as much fanfare. There are a lot of disadvantages caused by being far from major economic centers, especially with the decline in American manufacturing. And they don’t get much attention. I mean, it’s easy to say: “Hey, black people are poor in wealthy New York City!” It’s harder to say, “Hey, *everyone* is poor in Sticksville, population 20k.” But there are a lot of Sticksvilles, and they’re mostly white.

      Where I come from, if you run into a person who is poor, they’re typically urban black/Latino or they’re white and from Sticksville, Nowhere County. Now admittedly, that’s just on-average: there are rich black Latinos in the city and there are rich white families in the sticks. But, by the numbers, that’s where poverty is living in the US, on average. They’re both significant problems, but it’s just much more noticeable to have poor people living next to people with some cash.

  35. Jowanna3 years ago

    This is insane and a lie! I earn over 250k a year, and I am a single black female. This article is way more harmful than good. It is NOT true. This is an attempt to extract federal dollars for mostly useless programs.

  36. Zhu3 years ago

    I commend Rakesh for being so transparent about his research. But I also share the readers annoyance(Asian and non-Asian) for filtering out the Asian-American picture. Even if the data in the Fed study didn’t concern Asian-Americans, it’s simply untrue that there isn’t a lot of data on Asian wealth including up to recent years and it should have been included in the original post.

    I’m not sure if I agree with the conspiracy theorists that the omission of Asians was deliberate, because it wouldn’t “fit the narrative” or whatever. I think the omission was probably sincere, but I also hope that the people at Pew and others, going forward, include data on Asian-Americans as well. We are soon 6% of the nation and we are not invisible.


  37. Zhu3 years ago

    “whites accumulated this wealth largely in recent years through ‘government contracting’”

    Basically, everything you just said is completely demolished by the research.

    I thought you were ironic first, but then I realized you’re just not very clever.

    Secondly, most Arab-Americans aren’t that well-performing. They have above-average educational attainment but moderate incomes, which is weird, because otherwise above-average educational attainment usually means above-average incomes.

    We should really shift out Arabs out of the West Asian category and put it in a Middle Eastern category. You can’t sit with us.

  38. Rakesh Kochhar3 years ago

    I hope the following information addresses the inquiries from readers regarding the financial wellbeing of Asian Americans.

    We were unable to report estimates of the wealth of Asian Americans in this particular study because the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) public-use data files do not separately identify Asian Americans. However, estimates of the wealth of Asian Americans are available from the Survey of Income Program and Participation (SIPP) conducted by the Census Bureau. Two reports from Pew Research Center, The Rise of Asian Americans (…) and Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs (…) include estimates of Asian-American wealth from SIPP data. We have also published economic details about Asian American subgroups (…)

    In addition, the Census Bureau publishes data on the income of Asian Americans annually (…) and on wealth sporadically (…)

  39. Will V3 years ago

    It is both intellectually dishonest and incredibly suspect to not have a breakdown for Asian Americans. Research that is published with disregard for a specific variable that accounts for 5% of the population smacks of political activism. If the data is not available, you declare that up front with some context or you don’t publish. Instead, you chose to bury it in a single parenthetical and run with what you know will be a socially-charged title. Pew has seemingly fallen to the level of click-bait.

    1. Bruce Drake3 years ago

      Please see the comment posted at noon by Rakesh Kochhar

    2. Z2 years ago

      I fail to see how excluding any 5% of people possibly could be instrumental in a significant bias to presenting results that are based on medians. Means? Sure. But medians? Fine. If it makes you happy, imagine the curves are about 10% closer. That’s about as much as it could bias the results, assuming anything close to normality in the distributions.

      So then, would it really matter if blacks had only 1/10 as much wealth, rather than 1/13 as much? Would it really matter if Asians had 1.2x as much wealth as white people? Or even 2x? Who cares? The notable issue is that we still basically have a lot of poor, marginalized black and Hispanic people around, and the issue is persistent. That’s the takeaway. Solutions to such issues are still unclear, but probably revolve around combined social+educational all-court-presses that get poor kids when they are young (pre-K) and get them tracked onto good career paths.

      It’s probably not a particularly racial solution, in general (could say the same thing for poor white or Asian kids), but the benefits would be disproprortionately felt by black and Hispanic kids. Which is probably why there’s very little political will for it. Or, more likely, it’s the general opinion that most poor people for whatever reason probably deserve it and are there due to their own failings. Which, if you’ve met a good number of poor people (most of them are working 2 jobs if/when they can), is a pretty stupid argument.

      Is it really so crazy to think that a huge swathe of Americans lack sufficient education and skills for decent-paying jobs? Not if you’ve A) Met many Americans or B) Ever tried to hire for a skilled position. Combine weak education with starting out poor, and I assure you: on average, you will stay poor.

  40. David3 years ago

    This is my second attempt to try to put some perspective on this story ( I tried last night, but, apparently, my comments were rejected by some “moderator”).

    Racial/ethnic differences aside, the main take-away from this research is that all households are worse off than they were is 2007, and that all, other than white households, are worse off than they were in 2010. This explains, to me, why people voted (or did not vote) as they did in the 2014 elections. Black and Hispanic voters (apparently) fared even worse than Anglos, so why would anyone be surprised by the 2014 election results (Democrats lose seats)?

  41. Berkana3 years ago

    It really upsets me that in 2014, researchers on the topic of race relations still pretend Asians don’t exist. Are we that invisible that our entire demographic can be left out in a study on inequality? Please show us the whole picture.

  42. Muhammed Khan3 years ago

    what’s more amazing is how, compared to Asian Americans who migrated as the poorest demographic to work their way up to the most educated/richest through their studies of hard science (medicine , engineering, research etc), whites accumulated this wealth largely in recent years through ‘government contracting’ no technical skills or backgroudn whatsoever.

    In essence white America is using wars, government contracting to re-allocate wealth from value creating minorities to lazy bureacratic entitled white people.

  43. Calypso Kid3 years ago

    Pew is a liberal think tank, so the perspective of the analysis is to prove the need for redistribution of wealth. I would like to see wealth statistics for every wave of minority immigrants going back to 1800. Why did certain groups of immigrants succeed while others fell behind? It is not simply “racism” as the Irish, Poles, Italians, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans will all attest. As one who has spent the better part of 40 years working in inner city neighborhoods around the Northeast I can tell you that the War on Poverty has been a massive waste of taxpayer money. The greatest obstacle to inner city economic recovery is in fact the culture of inner city residents. Without a seed change in the family and community mores this trend will simply continue.

  44. Factchecker3 years ago

    “There is HUGE range of income disparity among Asian American groups. [..]There are the one’s who’ve kind of “made it” and there are large groups such as Hmong communities that are struggling in poverty-level income brackets.”

    There is income disparity in the Asian population, but even most on the lower scale are above the median. The Hmong are really an extreme outlier and a tiny part of the community. Ditto the Cambodians(who also have lower incomes, higher poverty etc).

    The “Big 5” groups comprise over 80% of the community and all have above-average income, education etc, higher than whites.

    I’m not sure why you are so defensive about this.

  45. Mr. Mathews3 years ago

    Thisseems like nonsense. No offense but Im white and I have never made that much money and dont know anyone that does. Were lucky to bring in 40,000 with both of us working and were concidered well off compared to others..Where in the world did you get this nonsense? In the 5 towns in this immediate area which are 90% white there is NO ONE making 6 figures….and surely youre not suggesting that all the black/hispanic lawyers, doctors, Mayors n other politicians only make $10,000
    This is the problem with AVERAGES…

    1. Soren Lorensen3 years ago

      Mr Matthews, the article is about assets (including home ownership), not annual income or earnings. Also, the incomes and cost of living in urban coastal areas is clearly very different from wherever you live. Also, the thing about averages is they tell us more about the experience of the whole country than anecdotes do.

    2. Bill W2 years ago

      Nope. The problem is you don’t understand the difference between income and net worth. Finally “averages” are the only way to compare something like net worth between groups of different, in this case vastly different, sizes. That’s something else that should be readily apparent.

  46. David3 years ago

    I think that the study summary by the Pew Research Center and the press coverage of it (e.g. in the NYT on 12/13/14) miss a more salient point than just the emphasis on racial/ethnic disparities in wealth. The more important take-away from this research (in my view) is how much median wealth has decreased for everyone since 2007. That finding, more than the group differences, goes a long way toward explaining why the electorate voted as it did in the 2014 elections. People, of all races and ethnicities, are much worse off than the were in 2007, and they voted (or did not bother to vote) accordingly. Racially/ethnically all except white households are even worse off than they were in 2010. Wow! (And think about the implications for Democratic candidates depending on African- American and Hispanic voters.)

  47. Vic Crain3 years ago

    If you exclude the top 5% of incomes, how does that change the distribution and the differences between races and ethnic groups?

    1. Rakesh Kochhar3 years ago

      Excluding the top 5% will not affect the results by much, again because the focus is on medians.

  48. Brian Gilmore3 years ago

    This says to me that African-Americans need to shift their focus from exterior solutions to solutions that originate and are proposed from within the community. The amount of progress that was accomplished using the exterior approach is now exhausted for the foreseeable future especially with the shift to Republican power in Congress and a shift to neoliberalism overall by both parties. In other words, African-Americans cannot assume that policies for the rest of the nation are good for their issues. That would be quite wasteful. This is, in fact, an opportunity to push for a new direction of economic and social policy.

  49. John3 years ago

    It would be interesting to examine the data over the past 50 years and draw a correlation between wealth disparities during each presidential administration. My question is whether the huge investment in the War On Poverty has made any appreciable difference in the wealth disparity between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics.

  50. Kumar Shah3 years ago

    A one line definition of “net wealth”, especially mentioning that it includes the primary residence, would have been quite useful.

    1. Rakesh Kochhar3 years ago

      Please accept our apologies–this was an oversight on our part. Household wealth is the accumulated value of assets (houses, cars, savings and checking accounts, stocks and mutual funds, retirement accounts, owned businesses, etc.) minus the sum of debt (mortgages, auto loans, credit card debt, business loans, etc.). It is different from household income, which measures the annual inflow of wages, interest, profits and other sources of earning.

      1. Viplav3 years ago

        Thanks Rakesh for the explanation and thanks Kumar for the question. I was interested in this key definition and would have been wondering what all the “wealth” included.
        Very useful study to add color to the wealth gap among American households and the “recovery” after the Great Recession. One can only speculate the motive of the attacks on the study since the data comes straight from the Federal Reserve.

      2. Shauna3 years ago

        Loss of assets would make sense. Foreclosures and short sales were disproportionately Black and Hispanic since they disproportionately took out higher risk loans.
        Loss of a home would eat away a large part of wealth, especially for a group that does not invest in stocks as heavily.

  51. Bruce Bryant3 years ago

    Please publish the statistics for Asians. Why is it they are never included in these reports, along with the stats for Jews.

  52. PBPundit3 years ago

    Thanks to Dr. Kochhar for his courteous responses.

    I concur with the others about the underlying causes of income disparity and the desire to see information on Asians. One source to track this is the Statistical Abstracts of the United States, Section 13, Tables 690 and 696. Since this is only done on census data the latest year is 2009, and Asians were 4.6% of the population. Yes, they do out earn the whites.

  53. Canyon Mike3 years ago

    They’re worse off, yet they voted for Obama twice. Maybe in 2016 they think to vote for someone they need, not someone they like.

    1. JJMarks3 years ago

      Do you believe that 6 years of one person as President could make such a dent in the disparity? Tell me that the last 2 GOP candidates were concerned with resolving economic woes of the low income.

      1. Denan G3 years ago

        Few if any politicians truly care about making a “dent in the disparity”. The poor, especially the ethnic and racial poor, are too valuable as political pawns and reliable votes in the corrupt game of electoral politics.

    2. KishorM3 years ago

      i am always amazed when people politicize the facts. Rather assuming that the president is responsible for all the ills, we need to look at the underlying cause for the trend in income disparity . Agree with JJ Marks that having a republican in the White House for the past year would not have made much of a difference. Case in point- the steepest drop in net worth of blacks has been from 2004-07 which wS before the greasy recession. Who was our president then?

      1. correction3 years ago

        Actually, it looks like the steepest drop was between 2010 and 2013

  54. J.W.3 years ago

    For reference, some data on Hmong communities:…

  55. J.W.3 years ago

    Rakesh, can you provide the data for your claim that Asian American household median income is on par with white household median incomes? That seems very wrong.

    One, albeit older 2013, comparison shows the median around $66,000. Less than HALF the white median.…

    Asian American data should be exposed bc the stark reality is that the comparisons backed by flawed statistical authority that Asian Americans can be considered on par with white is powerful misinformation.

    Please include Asian Americans in your data from now on. We’re tired of being invisible.

    Also, as a side note for any interested, we are an incredibly diverse group and there is HUGE range of income disparity among Asian American groups. So check the thought in your mind that there is one essential type. Far from it. There are the one’s who’ve kind of “made it” and there are large groups such as Hmong communities that are struggling in poverty-level income brackets.

    1. Felix Nguyễn3 years ago

      You should reread the article. The author is talking about median household “net worth”, not income per year. Asian American median household income is $66k, much more than White $50k. In 2005, according to the U.S. Census Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the median Asian American household had a net worth of over $150,000 Meanwhile, in 2005, median household net worth of non-Hispanic White is just $130,000…

  56. Mike3 years ago

    The purpose of articles like this is to set the stage for: income/asset confiscation and redistribution from the productive to the unproductive, racial quotas in hiring, in admission to universities, in admission to the professions (doctors, lawyers), in the selection of political candidates, in housing, in movies and television, in the leadership of the military and of government departments, etc. The goal is the obliteration of differences in rewards and responsibility based on merit, in favor of arbitrary allocations to favored racial groups, aka reparations.

    1. Ageofknowledge3 years ago

      That is the “progressive” goal. In fact, a one world Marxist government is their stated goal. But that aside; our broken immigration system, broken trade paradigm, the complete meltdown of the nuclear black family, what amounts to legal political corruption, monopoly capitalism, etc… are the real drivers for the ever worsening black situation in the U.S..

    2. RTB3 years ago

      The purpose of articles like this is to inform the American public about what is happening in our country economically. The results aren’t at all surprising. They reflect a continuing stagnation in earnings and wealth accretion for large segments of the US population.

      If the figures showed decreasing wealth inequality, the same people attacking the legitimacy of the article would be praising it for highlighting the success of America’s economic and political system.

    3. TheGov3 years ago

      I applaud you being able to read the minds of those who use widely adopted statistical measures to disclose patterns in society. The political/economic conspiracies abound, apparently. However, I have found no widely adopted statistical measures that disclose that pattern. I should take up mindreading.

    4. Kris3 years ago

      “Mike • 3 days ago

      The purpose of articles like this is to set the stage for: income/asset confiscation and redistribution from the productive to the unproductive, racial quotas in hiring, in admission to universities, in admission to the professions (doctors, lawyers), in the selection of political candidates, in housing, in movies and television, in the leadership of the military and of government departments, etc. The goal is the obliteration of differences in rewards and responsibility based on merit, in favor of arbitrary allocations to favored racial groups, aka reparations.”

      Yep. All this talk of “wealth inequality” the term alone “inequality” is loaded! It IS equal- as people are paid equally for work performed. A black engineer is at the same pay rate as a white engineer. A Hispanic scientist would be at the same pay rate as a white scientist. So, in REALITY there IS no “wealth inequality” this graph is useless. It only shows that GEE WHIZ newsflash- lots of Hispanics and blacks are poor. Wonder why?? Did the “white man” steal all their money?? Should the “white man” open his wallet and hand over, no questions asked, by FORCE- his paychecks?

      1. Dr. Norm3 years ago

        What is wrong with reparations? African Americans were enslaved in this country and worked without pay for 300 years. Worse still, the white slave masters deliberately destroyed their historical memory by: making them a people without ancestral origins or chosen names, no indigenous culture or language, religion or tradition, and replacing these with a corrupt and racist version of their own, which led to black self hatred. Moreover, even though blacks have lived in the same land with whites for over 400 years, they have been historically oppressed and rejected by mainstream white society-while new immigrants from Europe and elsewhere have been eventually accepted and integrated (cultural racism is deeper than Obama’s election) Yes, African American deserve reparations: just as was given to the Japanese for a few years of internment during WW11, just as the American Indians (who in fact enslaved some blacks) are still receiving for “treaty obligations,” and just as the Jews are paid for the holocaust. The reparations fund will be used to rebuild the black family that has been decimated by the residual toxic effects of slavery and enduring racism. For you cannot rip out the soul of a people, blame the victim and think all will be well. Rather it should be acknowledged that the survival of millions of blacks in America is a testament to the indestructibility of the human spirit. PEW is honest and courageous. Thanks for providing the data. Dr. Norm

        1. Nathan2 years ago

          Awesome, I absolutely agree. 40 acres and a mule. A good start would be to rebuild black Wall Street in Tulsa.

  57. Randy3 years ago

    And what would these graphs look like if you published data on Asians? Why are “Asians and other racial groups . . . not separately identified in the public-use versions of the Fed’s survey”?

    1. Dave3 years ago

      My thoughts exactly! Why are almost all other surveys when comparing disparity between race excludes Asians? So that the gaps can be accentuated to fulfill whatever objectives by the users of these research data – assuming the data is even accurate at all.

    2. LM3 years ago

      I’ve always considered your articles to be among the most neutral, factual, and trustworthy.

      I didn’t place your organization into the debase category, with those irresponsibly using media to stupefy and divide people.

      I was very disappointed to read this article’s headline and it’s incomplete content. At least, you changed the title of article today.

      The authors’ intent was not to educate and inform to uplift humanity with neutral, unbiased facts – the authors’ purposely did not include Asian income, and therefore purposefully mislead with incomplete information.

      American-Asian income is worthy of mention – Asian income is higher than that of Blacks, Hispanics, or Whites.

      The authors could have easily accessed American-Asian income e.g., via the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or the the “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: Current Population Reports” publications.

      Also – your the content of your article also purposefully refuses to acknowledge the power cultural influences have over how children are educated and job/career selection.

      You were one of the few remaining credible news sources. This article has caused me to reconsider your motives and direction.

  58. Bob3 years ago

    I think you have an arithmetic error in the section on minority homeownership: “50.6% in 2010 to 47.4% in 2013, a slippage of 6.5%.” One of those numbers must be wrong.

    1. Spike3 years ago

      50.6 minus 47.4 is 3.2.

      3.2 is 6.3% of 50.6 (6.5% is close enough).

      % change is not the same as %-point change.

    2. Rakesh Kochhar3 years ago

      This apparent discrepancy is due to the fact that we computed the percentage changes before rounding the reported estimates on homeownership.

  59. Johnson3 years ago

    Stop perpetuating racism. Race should never be a question, a statistic.

  60. RobAce3 years ago

    What are the statistics for Asian Americans.

  61. Yamil3 years ago


    These are medians, not means, so the 1% are not included in the calculation. If they were, these numbers would probably be even more dramatic!

  62. Robert Connors3 years ago

    Good question.

    Why are we surprised that civil unrest is on the rise? We are starting to look more like a third world nation. Today’s workers have not accumulated as much wealth as their parents at the same age. Some of it is hidden; home ownership is down (typically a retirees largest asset). Pensions are rapidly disappearing as are company contributions to 401k and other savings plans.

    Some say they will have to work work until they die, problem will be that most will get sick / disabled, unable to work, long before they die accelerating civil unrest.

    1. Mike3 years ago

      “Civil unrest” is a polite way of saying “mob rule”. It will solve nothing, just destroy whatever remains of social trust and civilized norms. “Civil unrest” will not pay of the debt. It will not create wealth. All the mob can do is seize the remaining crumbs of a once great country. The aftermath will be mass death from violence and starvation.

  63. Geoffrey3 years ago

    Is there any way to see the distribution of wealth rather than median? Not to discount the change of median numbers, which obviously is important, given that half of individuals are above that mark. But I just wonder if the spread is changing at different rates between races. Even if you just had the 5th, 25th, 75th, and 95th percentiles for each race, I think it would be very informative. My suspicions are that the poorest whites, blacks, and Hispanics haven’t seen as much change as on the upper half of the distributions.

    1. Rakesh Kochhar3 years ago

      We do not have distributional data for each race and ethnic group in this study. However, the following analysis (from another data source and ending in 2010) may be useful:…

  64. Steven3 years ago

    Give us a break down of who you surveyed!, these numbers mean nothing with out that!

    1. Rakesh Kochhar3 years ago

      The data source for our report is the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Details on the survey are available at….

  65. Thomas3 years ago

    What about Asian households?

  66. Casual Reader3 years ago

    I had a chuckle when I read this “…decreased from 50.6% in 2010 to 47.4% in 2013, a slippage of 6.5%”

    I get how the 6.5% number was determined (50.6 – 47.4) / 50.6 = 6.5% (approximately), and this must be a statistical thing, but us layman think (50.6% – 47.4%) = 3.2% which doesn’t sound quite as drastic in a press release.

    To illustrate how ill-leading the 6.5% figure is, image this statement from a bank “…our new car loan rate has decreased from 5% to 3%, a slippage of 40%”. LOL

    1. Geoffrey3 years ago

      I agree, the difference between moving 6% and 6 percentage points could be the difference between a trend and noise.

  67. LM3 years ago

    Is there a reason Asian income was omitted from this report?

    The American-Asian population is significant and worthy of mention, particularly since their income levels are the highest, higher than of Whites, Blacks, or Hispanics.

  68. Mary connell3 years ago

    The “Great Depression” was in the 1930’s, not in 2007-09! I was there! Please quit misusing that term and making people think things were worst then what they actually were! Thanks.

    1. Yamil3 years ago

      It clearly says the Great Recession, not the Great Depression.

  69. silvia3 years ago

    What about Asians? And are there more breakdowns?

  70. cloudy23 years ago

    @Rakesh Kochhar why not do a study on the mean wealth?

  71. Innocent3 years ago

    OKay so perhaps this is silly but is that not mostly due to asset growth in stocks and dramatic house devaluation in places like Chicago and like places? Perhaps a better question is why is there a continued subsistence mentality? Cultural dependence on Government aid may be one of the reasons? Maybe it is the ‘man’ keeping them down?

  72. Jim3 years ago

    What are the statistics for Asians, or Native Americans?

    1. Rakesh Kochhar3 years ago

      The source data (the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances) do not separately identify Asian Americans and Native Americans. Therefore, we were unable to report on the net worth of these households in this particular study. However, research with other data shows that the net worth of Asian American households is on par with the net worth of white households.

      1. Jerry Park3 years ago

        I appreciate the analysis done here and understand the problem with the lack of info on Asian American households. It would be important to add too, the Asian American population is highly diverse, the majority being foreign-born, and many who have been recruited specifically with high educational and human capital, while some arrive as refugees and lack English fluency. A proper analysis of their information would require translated surveys on the instruments (at least the largest groups among them), and a disaggregation based on human capital differences (possibly by nationality or education). Even if the Survey of Consumer Finances could disaggregate the Asian Americans, they would still be biased in favor of English-fluent and highly-skilled segments of the population. With these problems in mind, it’s probably better not to present wealth data on Asian Americans until we have proper coverage of this diverse group.

        1. citizen3 years ago

          Asians continue to lead the pack in terms of median income. This is a fact that is easily uncovered with minor research.

  73. Luke Grimes3 years ago

    So Asians do not matter in this country. Good stuff Pew.

  74. cloudy23 years ago

    What would these graphs be like, if you took out the 0.01% ??!

  75. Perry3 years ago

    What would these graphs be like if you took out the 1% ??!

    1. Rakesh Kochhar3 years ago

      Removing the top 1% from the sample would have minimal impact on the findings. The estimates we report are of median wealth, i.e. the net worth of the family in the middle of the wealth distribution. This middle would shift only slightly if 1% of the sample is removed. (The issue would be of greater concern if we had reported mean wealth.)

    2. Mike3 years ago

      Not much different, because they are appropriately using medians and not means (averages).

    3. WhiteGuy3 years ago

      these are the medians so the .1% doesn’t matter much

    4. Matthew3 years ago

      Since the figures are median values, it wouldn’t change much

    5. Nathan3 years ago

      That’s what interests me about this graph. The outliers such as the 1% have little to no affect on a median average. If this was a mean average, the 1% would have a greater affect.

    6. Tom3 years ago

      Median wouldn’t change much. Average yes, but not median.

    7. jwb3 years ago

      They’d look the same, because they’re medians, not averages.

    8. John3 years ago

      @Perry Great question!