Racial and Ethnic Household Wealth Trends and Wealth Inequality

November 29, 2022

Average Real Wealth by Race and Ethnicity

Line chart showing average real family wealth by race and ethnicity (Black, Hispanic, white) in 2021 dollars; log scale

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 2022, though the wealth of white families grew more consistently over that time frame. Average real family wealth was at its highest point for Hispanic families in the second quarter of 2022, and for white and Black families in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Average Real Wealth Gaps between Racial and Ethnic Groups

Line chart showing household wealth per $1 of white wealth

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 2022. The average Black/white ratio was 25 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 2022. However, the gaps (represented by low ratios) remain sizable. As of the second quarter of 2022, Black families had 25 cents for every dollar of white family wealth, while Hispanic families had 23 cents per every dollar of white wealth.

Average Real Wealth by Race and Ethnicity, Second Quarter of 2022

Bar chart showing average real household wealth in 2021 dollars

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

This bar chart shows the average family wealth for Black, Hispanic and white families in the second quarter of 2022. Black families had about $957,000 less wealth, on average, compared with white families, while Hispanic families had about $982,000 less wealth, on average, than white families.

About the Authors
Ana Hernández Kent
Ana Hernández Kent

Ana Hernández Kent is a senior researcher with the Institute for Economic Equity at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Her research interests include economic disparities and the role of systemic biases and historical factors in wealth outcomes. Read more about Ana’s research.

Ana Hernández Kent
Ana Hernández Kent

Ana Hernández Kent is a senior researcher with the Institute for Economic Equity at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Her research interests include economic disparities and the role of systemic biases and historical factors in wealth outcomes. Read more about Ana’s research.

Lowell Ricketts
Lowell R. Ricketts

Lowell R. Ricketts is a data scientist for the Institute for Economic Equity at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. His research has covered topics including the racial wealth divide, growth in consumer debt, and the uneven financial returns on college educations. Read more about Lowell's research.

Lowell Ricketts
Lowell R. Ricketts

Lowell R. Ricketts is a data scientist for the Institute for Economic Equity at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. His research has covered topics including the racial wealth divide, growth in consumer debt, and the uneven financial returns on college educations. Read more about Lowell's research.

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Views expressed are not necessarily those of the St. Louis Fed or Federal Reserve System.

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