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An analysis of US Census data has revealed that the wealth gap between whites and minorities in the US has grown to its widest levels in a quarter-century. Compared to a median wealth ratio of 7:1 between white households and black or Hispanic households in 1995, the recession and the uneven recovery has left white American with around 20 times the net worth of African-Americans and 18 times more than Hispanic households.
Asian communities have also lost their strong financial position by going down more than half in their median household wealth.
According to the Huffington Post, the study, compiled by Pew Research Center from 2009 data, shows the racial impact of the economic meltdown. It provides tangible evidence of the inequality between predominantly younger minorities who depend on their home for equity and older white households who are more likely to have pension funds and other stock holdings.
The overall analysis show that plunging housing values and widespread unemployment has widened the existing racial wealth gap to its widest since the census began tracking such date in 1984.
“What’s pushing the wealth of whites is the rebound in the stock market and corporate savings, while younger Hispanics and African-Americans who bought homes in the last decade [...] are seeing big declines,” said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor specialized in income inequality, to the Associated Press.
Roderick Harrison, former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau has expressed fear that these number has pushed the American society back to what the Kerner Commission, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s investigation commission on the 1967 race riots, called ‘two societies, separate and unequal’. “The great difference is that the second society has now become both black and Hispanic,” said Harrison.