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RACIAL GAP IN WEALTH BECOMING A CHASM

The last half-decade has proved far worse for black and Hispanic families than for white families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between white Americans and most minorities, according to a new study from the Urban Institute. And given the dynamics of the housing recovery and the rebound in the stock market, the wealth gap might still be growing. As of 2010, white families, on average, earned about $2 for every $1 that black and Hispanic families earned, a ratio that has remained roughly constant for the last 30 years. But when it comes to wealth - as measured by assets like cash savings, homes and retirement accounts, minus debts like mortgages and credit card balances - white families have far outpaced black and Hispanic ones. "The racial wealth gap is deeply rooted in our society," said one of the authors of the Urban Institute study. "It's here, it's not going away, and we need to care about it." Many experts consider the wealth gap to be more pernicious than the income gap, as it perpetuates from generation to generation and has a powerful effect on economic security and mobility.

© 2013 New York Times

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