Women of color face an enormous wealth gap when compared to the rest of society, undermining their future economic security and the nation’s long-term prosperity, according to a report released on Monday to coincide with International Women’s Day.
Single black and Hispanic women are particularly hard hit, owning only a penny of wealth for every dollar owned by their male counterparts and a fraction of a penny for every dollar owned by single white women, according to the report released by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development at a Capitol Hill symposium on the economic security of women.
Using data from the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances, the triennial national survey sponsored by the Federal Reserve Board, the report for the first time details the dire economic realities facing women of color. It finds:
- Single black and Hispanic women have a median wealth of $100 and $120 respectively; the median for single white women is $41,500.
- Nearly half of all single black and Hispanic women have zero or negative wealth, the latter of which occurs when debts exceed assets.
- While 57 percent of single white women own homes, only 33 percent of single black women and 28 percent of single Hispanic women are homeowners.
- Only 1 percent of single Hispanic women and 4 percent of single black women own business assets compared to 8 percent of single white women.
Wealth – assets minus debts – is critical to allowing a person to survive financial setbacks like the loss of a job or a large, unexpected health emergency, and gives parents the ability to provide their kids a leg up in life by paying for college tuition or leaving an inheritance, says Meizhu Lui, director of the Insight Center’s Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative.
“The gender wealth gap undermines the current and future economic security of women and their children,” she says.
Continue to the full article at the Huffington Post website.