The Racial Wealth Gap in the U.S., Or, Whites Own Almost Everything

By Carla Murphy Sep 08, 2014

Demos continues to highlight the nation’s extraordinary racial wealth gap with Matt Bruenig’s review of the Federal Reserve’s recently released 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). While the median white family has a net worth of $134,000, figures drop precipitously for families of color. As of 2013, the median Hispanic family’s worth is $14,000. The median black family has a net worth of $11,000. Research has long singled out wealth accumulation–what families own minus debt–and not income as the key driver of upward mobility for both parents and their children.

Read more on Demos, especially Bruenig’s distillation of which whites own "almost everything." The bottom 50 percent of white families own 2.2 percent of white wealth. The top 10 percent own 72 percent. This Fed video explains the skewed distribution of wealth, regardless of race.

The SCF collects data on families’ balance sheets, pensions, income and demographic characteristics.