Thursday, March 11, 2010

Median wealth for U.S. women of colour: $5

For those interested in inequality, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in California has a new study, Lifting as we Climb, with some frightening statistics. For starters:

"Young women ages 18-35, whether white or non-white, are beginning their adult years with a median wealth of zero, meaning that at least half of women in this age group had no wealth or had debts greater than the value of their assets."

Now get this one:

While white women in the prime working years of ages 36-49 have a median wealth of $42,600 (still only 61% of their white male counterparts), the median wealth for women of color is only $5. Prior to age 50, women of color have virtually no wealth."

Meizhu Lui, director of the study initiative, said:

"Even for those of us who have been looking at the wealth gap for a while, we were shocked and amazed at how little women of color have."

The report only has a very short section on tax, which is a pity, though it does contain some useful analysis, such as this:

"Wealth-building government policies, social insurance, and tax codes are generally structured around the “norm” of the white married couple, in which the husband is the primary wage earner and the wife takes care of the home and children. Women of color are least likely to benefit from policies based on this model."


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