Racial Wealth Gap Expands, Whites Suffer Least

A study published by the Pew Foundation on Tuesday has revealed that Hispanics may have suffered the most economic loss during the country’s recession.

Hispanic families experienced the largest decline in wealth, according to the study composed by the Census Bureau. The bureau’s findings found that wealth in Hispanic households declined by a shocking 66 percent from 2005 to 2009.

Black families were forced to deal with a 53 percent decline in wealth, while white families were not impacted as much. The median wealth decline of white families from 2005-2009 was 16 percent.

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The unbalanced percentages between the ethnic groups represent the largest gap since records began, according to CNN. According to the report, the financial gap between Hispanics, blacks and whites has nearly doubled since first being recorded two decades ago.

Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center executive president, authored the report. He said the country can learn a lot from his findings.

“It’s a very stark reminder of the high share of minorities who live at the economic margins of this country,” Taylor said. “These data really show their economic vulnerability.”

According to Taylor’s research, the 2006 housing decline directly impacted the minority groups’ wealth. The housing recession affected whites marginally less than their minority counterparts, according to The New York Times.

These declines resulted in the average black family to have $5,677 in “wealth” in 2009, with Hispanics slightly higher at $6,325. However, white households had a shockingly different figure at $113,149, according to Taylor.

The measurement of “wealth” for these groups was calculated by subtracting debts from assets.

The Pew Research Center data came from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, an economic questionnaire in which thousands of households participated.

According to The New York Times, SIPP is the most comprehensive source of economic wealth concerning ethnic groups in the United States.

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