The wealth gap
We talk a lot about income here, and not as much about wealth. But I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that women of colour face a wealth gap. And it’s a big one – almost unbelievably so for single women of colour, according to a new report from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. The summary is here.
Excluding vehicles, single black women have a median wealth of $100 and Hispanic women $120 respectively, while their same-race male counterparts have $7,900 and $9,730. The median wealth of single
white women is $41,500. To put it another way, single black and Hispanic women have one penny of wealth for every dollar of wealth owned by their male counterparts and a tiny fraction of a penny for every dollar of
wealth owned by white women.
There’s a really illuminating graph on page 7 of the full report, which you should check out – it doesn’t really fit on this page – which reassured me that this isn’t an isolated statistic. A large gap holds for married and cohabiting couples, and, for that matter, for men of colour, though not to the same extent.
The data is from the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances, conducted by the Federal Reserve Board. (If, like me, you are excited by this sort of thing, you can download the raw data here.) As the authors point out, since the data was collected, the recession has probably changed things for the worse.