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Know Your Rights
Source: WCTV
Subject: Profiles of MRNY
Type: Media Coverage

Recession Widens Wealth Gap Between Races

Not many people would be surprised to know that there is a wealth divide in the U.S. between whites and minorities. It is currently the widest it has been in at least 25 years. An example of this can be seen in Edgar Andrade’s story. He opened a hardware store nearly three years ago in Brooklyn, NY. He planned on getting it up and running, then handing it over to his parents for their financial security when they retired. The recession changed everything. His small business is struggling. He had to lay off workers and now taken in relatives who are out of work themselves.

For minorities like Edgar, the recession has taken a particularly heavy toll. They have fallen even further behind in the wealth gap behind whites. The Pew Research Center found that the median wealth of Hispanics fell by a staggering 66%, for blacks the drop was 53%, compared to a 16% drop among white households. Senior Researcher Rakesh Kochhar says the study was done between 2005 and 2009. The study finds the main reason for the huge drop in wealth among Hispanics is due to the housing crash and the loss of home equity. Blacks were also hard hit by the housing downturn, says Kochhar. But he says they were also hurt by larger increases in unemployment.

Now the median wealth for a typical black household is just under $6,000. It’s slightly higher for Hispanics. That is compare that to the typical white household where the median wealth is estimated to be $113,000. It is the widest wealth divide between whites and minorities since 1984, when this kind of data started to be collected.

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