Racial and ethnic wealth disparities persist

Families of color will soon make up a majority of the population, but most continue to fall behind whites in building wealth. In 1963, the average wealth of white families was $121,000 higher than the average wealth of nonwhite families. By 2016, the average wealth of white families ($919,000) was over $700,000 higher than the average wealth of black families ($140,000) and of Hispanic families ($192,000).

Put another way, white family wealth was seven times greater than black family wealth and five times greater than Hispanic family wealth in 2016. Despite some fluctuations over the past five decades, this disparity is as high or higher than was in 1963.

NOTE:

2016 dollars. No comparable data are available between 1963 and 1983. Black/Hispanic distinction within nonwhite population available only in 1983 and later.

Source:
Urban Institute calculations from Survey of Financial Characteristics of Consumers 1962 (December 31), Survey of Changes in Family Finances 1963, and Survey of Consumer Finances 1983–2016.