Saturday, May 18, 2024

New Study Shows Latinos hurt the most by Recession

A report by the Pew Research Center released last week found that Latinos have been the worst hit by the current economic recession.

Researchers from the Social & Demographic Trends Project analyzed data from the Census Bureau and found that the median wealth of Hispanic households fell drastically from $18,359 in 2005 to $6,325 in 2009, a total of 66 percent, accounting for the largest decline of any minority group.  African American and Asian American households also saw steep declines, 53% and 54%, respectively.

Meanwhile, the median wealth of white households only fell by 16%, which means that the wealth of whites is now 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households, marking this as the largest racial wealth disparity our nation has faced in 25 years.

“It’s a very stark reminder of the high share of minorities who live at the economic margins of this country,” said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center and an author of the report. “These data really show their economic vulnerability.”

The report also found that the housing meltdown accounted for the primary decline in wealth of all groups. Hispanics were hit particularly hard by this downward trend in the housing market, since up to two-thirds of their net worth in 2005 came from home equity.

Overall, the number of Americans with zero wealth has increased during this recession.  In 2009, a third of Hispanics had zero or negative net worth.

This is the lowest reported median wealth for Hispanic since 1984, the year the Census Bureau first made such data available, according to the report.

Household wealth or net worth is defined as assets including a house, a car, savings and stocks, minus debts, like mortgages, car loans and credit cards. for purposes in this report.

NY Times

Pew Hispanic