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US Inequality Widening on ‘Racial’ Lines: Says Pew

The wealth gap between white and African-American households is at its largest in a quarter of a century.

The recovery of the U.S. economy since 2008 has benefited white households more than minorities, according to a Pew Research Center study released Friday.

“Our analysis of Federal Reserve data does reveal a stark divide in the experiences of white, black and Hispanic households during the economic recovery,” Pew stated.

According to their research, white households now have 13 times the average wealth of African-Americans, and 10 times the wealth of Hispanics.

“The current gap between blacks and whites has reached its highest point since 1989, when whites had 17 times the wealth of black households,” the study found.

Pew researcher Rakesh Kochhar has explained part of the reason for the wealth disparity is a “legacy of discrimination.”

The researcher pointed to lower property values in minority communities, and a persistent disparity in education opportunities.

“The (wealth) gaps are big and they are also persistent,” Kochhar told the New York Times.

However, the study suggests a wide variety of factors could explain the growth of inequality along racial lines since 2008. One factor researchers pointed to was financial assets like stocks recovering faster than housing values.

“White households are much more likely than minority households to own stocks directly or indirectly through retirement accounts. Thus, they were in better position to benefit from the recovery in financial markets,” the study stated.

The Pew study comes on the heels of research suggesting inequality between the rich and the poor is the “single biggest impact” in preventing economic growth worldwide.

Read more: Inequality and Liberal Democracy: A Disturbing Association

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