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Racial and Ethnic Household Wealth Trends and Wealth Inequality

Line chart showing average real wealth by race and ethnicity in 2019 dollars

SOURCES: Distributional Financial Accounts and Institute for Economic Equity calculations.

NOTE: Vertical bars indicate recessions.

This figure shows average real family wealth by race and ethnicity. On average, all families experienced growth from 1989 to 2020, though the wealth of white families grew more consistently over that time frame. During this period, average real family wealth was at its highest point for all groups in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Line chart displaying average real wealth gaps between racial and ethnic groups, per $1 of white wealth for Black and Hispanic populations

SOURCES: Distributional Financial Accounts and Institute for Economic Equity calculations.

NOTE: Vertical bars indicate recessions.

This figure shows the magnitude and persistence of the Black/white and Hispanic/white wealth gaps from 1989 to 2020. The average Black/white ratio was 24 cents per $1 over this period, while Hispanic families had 22 cents, on average, per $1 of white family wealth. As seen in the figure, Black and Hispanic family wealth has fluctuated relative to white family wealth from 1989 to 2020. However, the gaps (represented by low ratios) remain sizable. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, Black families had 22 cents for every dollar of white family wealth, while Hispanic families had 19 cents for every dollar of white wealth.

Bar chart displaying average real wealth by race and ethnicity for the fourth quarter of 2020 for Black, Hispanic and white

SOURCES: Distributional Financial Accounts and Institute for Economic Equity calculations.

This bar chart shows the average family wealth for Blacks, Hispanics and whites in the fourth quarter of 2020. Black families had about $953,000 less wealth, on average, compared to white families, while Hispanic families had about $998,000 less wealth, on average, than white families.