Home » A $1 million wealth gap now divides white families from Black and Hispanic ones, research shows

A $1 million wealth gap now divides white families from Black and Hispanic ones, research shows

by NBC News

The average wealth gap between white families and Black and Hispanic ones reached a new high in 2022, topping $1 million in household wealth, according to a new report. 

New research by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank focused on economic and social policy research, found that the average wealth of white families in 2022 reached a record high of over $1.3 million, compared to about $227,000 for Hispanic families and $211,000 for Black families. This report marks the first time the institute has recorded a seven-figure disparity in average wealth for both Black and Hispanic households.

The median wealth for white families was $284,000, compared to $62,000 for Hispanic families and $44,000 for Black families. 

“Inequities measured at the median will give you a better sense of the comparisons across typical families, but inequities measured at the mean will give you a better sense of the macro-level disparities in wealth accumulation in this country — generally, and by race,” said Madeline Brown, a senior policy associate at the Urban Institute. She added that both numbers are important to consider because they are the result of structural racism.

“One million dollars in a gap indicates that we still have severe racial wealth inequity in this country,” Brown said. That lifetime difference in accruing wealth severely affects families’ ability to “buy a home, invest in their children’s college, invest in their children’s businesses, support their families,” she added.

The report shows how racial and gender gaps in earnings, retirement savings and emergency savings can contribute to a lifetime lag for individuals and families. But homeownership is the primary driver of wealth-building in the U.S., the report said, and continues to lag for Black families in particular because of “the stubborn legacy of racist housing policies.”

The average white homeownership rate has increased from about 64.9% in 1960 to 73.1% in 2022, according to the…

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