Racial inequality in America at 25-year high

Not since the mid-1980s has America seen such a wide gap in wealth among whites and minorities. A new study released says that, on average, white households in the US are 20 times wealthier than that of black and Hispanice households.

The new study released from the Pew Research Center today pulls from 2009 data collected in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), sent to tens of thousands of homes in America by the US Census Bureau. Just now has the 2009 data been made available and the findings are shocking.

While the median net worth of white households decreased from 2005’s statistic by around $20,000, the worth of black households was more than cut in half. The findings reveal that, on average, the wealth of white families was at around $113,149, with the median of black households being only $5,677.

Additionally, the median wealth of white households is around 18 times that of Hispanic households. For 2009, their average wealth was around $18,359.

Economics suggest that the crumbling of the housing market is largely to blame for the inequality. The AP reports that the main asset among the predominately younger minorities in America is their homes, whereas whites, on average older, have holdings in the stock market. The housing market crash greatly devalued the homes of minorities, whereas white stockholders rebounded in 2009.

The financial crisis and recession that has plagued America during the last several years also has had a disproportionate affect on minorities, suggests CNN.

Another finding in the study notes that, in 2009, one-third of black and Hispanic households had zero wealth, or that their debts exceeded the value of all of their assets. White households, however, only reached such a figure in 15 percent of those polled.

Collectively, blacks and Hispanic make up more than a quarter of the US population, making them the largest minority groups in the country.

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