Federal Reserve Report Shows Stark Pre-Pandemic Wealth Gap

The median wealth of a typical Black family was

Last year, the median wealth of a typical white family ($188,200) was 5x that of a typical Hispanic family and 8x that of a typical Black family, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest* Survey of Consumer Finance

  • *Latest = 2019…at the peak of the economic expansion and before the pandemic disproportionately affected workers of color and those with less formal education. 

While Americans’ median net worth rose 18% and median family income gained 5% from 2016–2019, slightly narrowing the income distribution, America’s cavernous wealth gap has persisted on many fronts:

  • Before the current recession, the typical white family had $50,600 worth of equities they could tap in an emergency; typical Black and Hispanic families had <$15,000.
  • While 70% of upper-middle income folks held stocks (and benefitted from this summer’s rally), only 31% of families in the bottom half did. 
  • Two-thirds of working-age families had a retirement plan last year, a smaller proportion than in 2016. 

Big picture: Many economists fear that families who were struggling financially before Covid-19 will come out of the pandemic in worse shape. 

Via Morning Brew

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