Inequality between races is very large but improving
Looking at income and wealth levels between different groups of people offers a fascinating insight into how countries work. As a non-American, it helps me see what’s going on from the outside.
I’ve already written two similar articles that you may be interested in.
- Average Net Worth By Age — How Do You Compare?
- Is College Really Worth It? — What Does The Data Say?
As with those two articles, the data for this is taken from the Federal Reserve’s Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2016 to 2019.
This article discusses both median net worth and average net worth. To see the difference between these two terms, have a read of the beginning of the first article linked above.
The race/ethnicity data is broken down into 4 categories, as shown below.
The main figures are for 2019. The figures in brackets are for 2016.
Median net worth: $188,200 (up 3% from $181,900 in 2016)
Average net worth: $983,400 (down 1% from $993,100 in 2016)
Black or African American non-Hispanic
Median net worth: $24,100 (up 33% from $18,200 in 2016)
Average net worth: $142,500 (down 3% from $146,800 in 2016)
Hispanic or Latino
Median net worth: $36,200 (up 65% from $21,900 in 2016)
Average net worth: $165,500 (down 19% from $203,300 in 2016)
Other or multiple race
Median net worth: $74,500 (up 8% from $68,800 in 2016)
Average net worth: $657,200 (down 35% from $486,800 in 2016)
As a non-America, I’m astounded by the disparity in wealth between white people and other races and ethnicities.
Of particular note is that White non-Hispanic families have a median net worth of almost 8 times that of Black or African American non-Hispanic families.
I knew there was a big difference, but it’s only by looking at these figures that I realize how big that difference really is. It’s pretty shocking.
The only saving grace (if you can even call it that), is that the median net worth of Black or African American non-Hispanics has increased by 33% between 2016 and 2019. For Hispanics and Latinos, the increase is 65%. It’s only 3% for White families.
Even though there are big increases in median net worth for those two groups, it is odd that the average net worth has decreased for both.
Black or African American non-Hispanic average net worth has fallen 3%. For Hispanics and Latinos, the decrease is a massive 19%. For White people, the drop is only 1%.