Asians and whites lost more in absolute terms, with Asian median wealth dropping by $83,000 while whites lost $20,000. That compares to a loss of about $6,000 for blacks and $10,000 for Hispanics. Yet because whites' and Asians' net-worths are higher, their percentage losses were lower.
What accounts for this widening wealth-race gap?
The main contributor is home ownership and wealth portfolios. Historically speaking, homes make up a larger share of wealth for black and Hispanics. Whites have a greater share of wealth in other assets, like stocks, mutual funds and other financial instruments.
Because financial assets have recovered from the recession more strongly than home prices, wealth for whites also recovered more rapidly.
Blacks and Hispanics have also suffered from higher unemployment than whites. The unemployment rate for whites is around 7.4 percent; it’s nearly twice that level for blacks.
Just to be clear, the study doesn’t show that race is a cause of these disparities. But it is clear that in strict economic terms, the wealth gap in America is growing between the races.
Do you think there are other reasons that the wealth gap between races is growing?
-By CNBC's Robert Frank
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