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Munro Richardson's Comments

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White/Minority Wealth Disparities: The Rest of the Story

Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 10:06:13 in Politics

“Household debt is another important factor to consider in any discussion of wealth. According to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, in 1983 the median financial net worth of black households was $1,100 (in 2007 dollars). Financial net worth only includes liquid assets like cash and stocks, but excludes real assets like homes. By 2007, however, the median financial net worth of black households had plummeted to -$21,500. I suspect this change has is largely explained by consumer behavior related to consumer credit and savings. By the way, this decrease in median financial net worth also characterizes the American population as a whole (from $34,700 in 1983 to $11,900 in 2007) and white households (from $37,400 to $24,200). Interestingly, however, Hispanic households actually improved over this period (from -$54,000 to -$43,200) and households in the lowest income level pretty much stayed the same ($9,600 in 1983 compared to $9,400 in 2007). If we look at total net worth (including real assets), however, everyone improved.”