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Median Net Worth of Single Black Women in Prime Working Years: $5

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In case you somehow harbored the notion that the other half doesn’t live differently than the rest of us, an eye-opening report released by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, “Lifting as We Climb,” analyzes a topic that too often gets short shrift, the net worth, or “wealth” of the lower economic strata. The media (to the extent it has taken up the issue of income inequality) has focused on the rising concentration of income and assets at the very top, and less attention has gone to the obverse side of this coin: the relative decline of the standing of lower ranks.

This study drew on the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances, which is conducted one in every three years and is considered one of the most relaible sources of information on wealth disparities. The analysis uses the same definition of net worth as the Federal Reserve does. The report notes:

While the 2007 data is the most recent release of the SCF to date, it is important to take into consideration that most of the data were collected prior to the economic downturn and therefore present a more favorable portrait of levels of wealth than is likely to be the case currently. Nonetheless, the overall patterns depicted with respect to wealth of whites versus non-whites are likely to hold. If anything, the portrait of wealth holdings for people of color is likely to be less favorable today than it was in 2007 since people of color hold greater amounts of their assets in homeownership (see Table 4) and communities of color have been hardest hit by the foreclosure debacle. Therefore, the data provides a “conservative estimate” of the current wealth holdings for women of color.

Here is the punch line:

However, 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.

Once they get past their childbearing/rearing years, single black women do better. Their net worth rises to nearly $60,000 for the 50 to 65 cohort. But single white women show a greater increase in net worth across the two age groups, of nearly $70,000.

One of the few papers to pick up this story, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (hat tip reader John D) add some more disheartening factoids:

Black women, in general, were more likely to have participated in the subprime loan crisis with upper-income black women being five times more likely to have received a high-cost mortgage than upper-income white men.

“The popular image is they spend too much, which is the reason they are running up credit card and consumer debt, but the cost of living has risen faster than income, and they need to go into debt for basic daily necessities,” Ms. Lui said. “It’s compounded because unemployment is twice as high in the black community than it is in the white community.”

Huffington Post has a short write-up by a project manager at the Insight Center, but that is the sort of exception that serves to prove the rule, that of lack of media interest in the fate of the poor and near poor.

On a separate but related sighting, The Big Picture’s post ” An Epidemic of Laziness?” takes issue with the idea that extending unemployment insurance creates a disincentive to find work, when the fact that there are more than five job-seekers for every opening would seem to be a more significant impediment. The comment stream at points veers into vitriol

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53 comments

  1. Blurtman

    The only way to help these women is to give even larger bonuses to the bankers. It will work. It’s magic. Just hand over the money or people will get hurt.

    1. rpm

      You can blame “whitey” but lets start with our first “black” president, Bill Clinton. He did more for the enslavement of the black community to the government than Mr. Lincoln ever imagined.

  2. Punch My Ticket

    Any look at the survey of consumer finances reveals that the median net worth of all Americans ex primary residence is zero. Why should working black single females be any different?

  3. psychohistorian

    I just read this elsewhere and am still shaking my head. America does not have clue what it really looks like under the cover of the whitewash by the MSM. That whitewash will make it easier for them to explain away the martial law and military take downs of uppity poor folk demanding a better life and that dream of equality of opportunity…..coming soon to your world.

    What will you think of those being arrested? Will you think they deserve their fate or do you worry you will be next? The elite will use the fear of “economic meltdown” to continue their economic class warfare.

    The real welfare queens are on Wall Street.

  4. DJP

    By “people of color”, they are implying that everybody who isn’t white is struggling in a large white vs non-white divide.

    However, if they were to break the “people of color” into more specific ethnic groups, you would see that Asian-Americans are doing approximately equal to White Americans.

    This point is never highlighted by the people focused on the white racism thesis since it so strongly refutes the idea of hidden and/or structural white racism.

    1. Kevin de Bruxelles

      In order to emphasize this fact the term NAM (non-Asian minority) has been coined on the racial realist blogs. And by Asian they really mean Asian (including people from India, the Near East, etc.) Somehow in America East Asians got a monopoly on the term Asian.

      1. Thisson

        Why exclude Indians? I saw a breakdown of income disparities by religion the other day, at one of the links on the Big Picture blog, and the numbers were roughly equivalent for Hindus and Jews.

    2. alex

      DJP: you’re correct.

      Not to say that there isn’t racism or that it doesn’t have serious economic effects, but the cited report does nothing more than lump people together according to a pre-defined agenda and report on the aggregate. Further down it does say that “Asian Americans have a higher median net worth than white non-Hispanic households” but then proceeds to say why that might not be so meaningful. Some of the reasons may be legitimate, but there is no attempt at statistical analysis, lack of data is given as an excuse, and one is basically encouraged to ignore this outlier in their white vs. non-white dichotomy.

      What would be useful is serious statistical analysis. For example, despite our Horatio Alger mythology there is little inter-generational economic mobility in the US. If greater racism in generations past caused group X to have lower wealth, what lingering effects would we expect today from low inter-generational economic mobility?

    3. KS

      While your argument is cleverly framed it doesn’t make sense. So because one “people of color” subgroup (Asian- Americans) are currently “approximately equal” to White Americans in median net worth means the notion of hidden and/or structural white racism is strongly refuted in general? Nonsense. Especially since the data indicates that the other subgroups are doing much worse relative to White Americans. At most, it means that Asian Americans aren’t currently affected as much as the other subgroups. I don’t think anybody is arguing that “structural white racism” has/is/will affects all minorities in exactly the same way.

      At this point we could leave it at that or go down the very tiresome road of the Asian Model Minority vs the Black Cultural Pathalogy vs the Hispanic Illegal Immigrant garbage
      and pretend that we don’t know that each subgroup has it’s own unique and nuanced experience/history here relative to the majority that has certainly led to different current statuses. Hopefully, we’ll leave it at that.

      1. DJP

        At the very least, framing the problem as “people of color” doing relatively poorly compared to whites is misleading. And it is conveniently misleading in the direction of the “blame whitey” theory.

        In these sorts of discussions, you hear it framed that way constantly. You’ll hear CNN talk about “minorities” struggling, etc. But some “minorities”, such as the Chinese-American population, do better than whites on average.

        If there really were an anti-white bias in society which is to explain why “people of color” do relatively worse, then that should also apply to Asians (including Indians, Chinese, Koreans, etc.).

        Something like 40% of top California universities, such as UC Berkeley, are composed of Asians, even though they make up something like 10% of the California population.

        “Model minority” is a derogatory term coined by the proponents of the “blame whitey” ideology.

        1. KS

          I don’t have a problem with the your argument that the term people of color should be refined in this case. After all, we wouldn’t want Asian-Americans who we all know are sucessful across the board (i mean, my God look at the admit rates at the top UC schools!) and across all their ethnic groups here being lumped in with struggling Blacks and Hispanics. Heh.

          But seriously, this is ridiculous:

          “If there really were an anti-white bias in society which is to explain why “people of color” do relatively worse, then that should also apply to Asians (including Indians, Chinese, Koreans, etc.).”

          If? Uh huh. Oh, I forgot, Obama’s POTUS so it’s all good now. Anyway, I’ll assume you meant anti-minority bias but, that’s profoundly ahistorical. I can see you’re missing my earlier point about unique experiences and history. The effect may apply a lot, somewhat or a little. It’s not a blanket effect for all people in all subgroups. I mean it’s pretty ridiculous, considering this country’s history, to claim that an anti-minority bias effect should have the same impact on say, Blacks vs. Asians.

          ““Model minority” is a derogatory term coined by the proponents of the “blame whitey” ideology.”

          That’s a nice twofer piece of propaganda but, you are wrong. The term Model Minority was coined by some sociologist in, I think 1960 or so and has nothing to do with the so-called “blame whitey” crowd. It is amusing though that you only noticed that particular derogatory term I used and then tried to incorrectly blame it on folks you described in a derogatory manner! I guess some derogatory terms are more…noticable…than others, eh?

      2. Kevin de Bruxelles

        If we use an IT metaphor perhaps we can understand where DJP is coming from. To explain the poor performance of the computers owned by some sectors of US society there are three possible areas of deficiency; the network, the software and / or the hardware. The thesis implied by the appellation “women of colour” suggests that the network, controlled obviously by whitey, systematically discriminates against certain people of colour. So when DJP states that some computers owned by Asians actually perform as well (if not better) than those owned by whitey, this fact tends towards the conclusion that the network (racism) may not be the only explanation. While only an insane person would ever deny racism as an historic and current factor, most people would agree that the network has been substantially freed up in the last twenty years. But clearing the network still leaves two other explanations of why the some computers underperform; and to be clear, both of these options can be understood as a legacy of racism. One possibility is that the software (culture) is pathological for some segments of society. The other is that the hardware (intelligence or innate ability) is lacking in some segments of society. While both of these choices may provoke strong emotions, there is no doubt that both factors (culture and ability) do contribute towards success or failure in a society.

        Instead of using the frame of “women of colour” to analysis relative wealth levels in the US, another point of view would have been “non-WASP women”. But politically this would have been a disaster for the authors of the report. Because there is no question that Jewish women would have been at head of the wealth class while the fact of historic American anti-Semitism is undeniable. This would have been just another chink in the chain of the network thesis and would have only served to shift the focus towards the software and hardware of Jewish women to find an explanation of their success.

        In choosing between this tripartite of blame, I personally put much more emphasis on the cultural (software) side of the equation. While these cultural pathologies are a result of racism; it is also clear that there will be absolutely no progress towards economic equality until these pathologies are dealt with.

        1. KS

          Kudos. That was very thoughful and artfully stated but let’s cut to the chase, shall we? : ) The cultural pathology nonsense is as derogatory as the model minority nonsense. Funny how that “cultural pahtology” didn’t stop those subprime swindlers. I guess they were more focused on the color green. Anyway, one is a negative group stereotype while the other is a positive one. Both are one dimensional and as one wag I read somewhere put it – “racist hate vs. racist love”.

          Also, while I apreciate your skillful “Jewish woman” example, c’mon now, we REALLY have to stop pretending that we don’t know the history and reality here or stop downplaying it and acting like this is a simple remove X software and insert Y software in the computer academic exercise.

        2. KS

          Sorry for the double reply Kevin but, I meant touch on your statement here because I think it will lead to an important point:

          “…most people would agree that the network has been substantially freed up in the last twenty years.”

          Perhaps but, aside from certain important legal issues, it’s been in a mostly symbolic and superficial way. The reality is that everbody else has been pushed downward toward poor Blacks and Whites and poor everybody. We are here at an econ based blog so we know what the facts are regarding wages, jobs, debt, an so on. The rich are getting richer, the mythical middle class is being pushed back to what it really is – working class, the current working class is being put into the poorhouse and the poor, well I guess they’ll just eventually welcome us into the tent camps.

          To borrow a piece of your metaphor, it’s not anybody’s hardware or software, it’s the network. Examining why and who is doing a better job of picking up the ever decreasing scraps the network throws us when we are generally getting screwed is a wasted errand though a useful divide and conquer tactic.

          It would have rightfully been called “trickery” by the old school “blame whitey” crowd (lol) but, like most of their white counterparts they have long since sold out and, in the age of Oprah and Obama, some of them are now even hustling on the other side (conservative) of the street. Ha!

          1. kevin de bruxelles

            KS,

            Thanks for your replies. On the part about things improving in the past twenty years, I meant that the racist barriers to economic advancement had been reduced – not that actual economic advancement had taken place (far from it!) I grew up in one of the most racist cities in the United States; it was so racist that they actually made a documentary about it (link below) and I can tell you things have definitely improved since then in terms of housing discrimination (and if anything this documentary understates the case):

            http://www.briancopeland.com/media/suburban_wall.html

            Growing up working class makes me quite the expert on white working class culture. When I left home I lived in East Oakland for a few years where I became familiar with black culture and later attended Cal where I became very familiar with Chinese American working class culture! From my limited experience it is clear to me that generally black culture is at best suspicious of striving to get ahead (for obvious historic reasons); that white working class culture is ambivalent to striving to get ahead (at least back in the day when white working class existence was not so bad); and that Chinese American working class culture demanded that their children strive to get ahead. I remember being so impressed with a classmate’s father who was a butcher and who made sure all five of his children made it through UC schools.

            So there is no doubt that culture counts in these things. It is true that it is not the whole story either but it should not be so simply dismissed.

  5. kevinearick

    a) the cartels need the new motor, and they are not going to get it until they allow a capital market to fund middle class reorganiztion.

    b) financially, America is the poorest nation in History, not the wealthiest, without that motor; “wealth” currently assumes a NPV window that does not exist. off balance sheet debt alone overwhelms the calculations.

    c) govt is not pursuing monetary expansion to keep all those entitlement checks in the mail out of kindness.

    d) all could turn out very well, or things could get quite ugly.

    e) net worth is a perception that depends on who is maintaining the ledger.

    I’m not a big fan of Jimmy Carter, but I think he said something about measuring character vs. measuring material value … he was voted out of office, and the punch bowl just kept getting bigger.

    VT is a good example. with the healthcare bill ($600 million in transfers), no deficit. without the healthcare bill, $250 million deficits, 20% of general fund. and that’s just a drop in the bucket of economic transfers.

    The American Enterprise System is producing no net economic profit, and is exerting a negative multiplier effect on the global economy. From the perspective of evolution, we are all unemployed.

    Driving down return to unprotected labor to 15%, the majority on the planet, in order to protect the rest, a contrived domestic majority, from evolution, got us here.

    We don’t keep standing armies all over the globe, and nuclear weapons, by accident, or to anyone else’s benefit. We do so to extract a tax on global oil distribution, an extortion slush fund running at about $60/barrel minus expenses. That’s the American way.

    The contract made sense back when the premium reasonably represented America’s contribution to global economic profit, when America represented liberty.

    Empires do not age well, because the cartel organism uses them like diapers, to propagate demographic acceleration of economic slave populations. That worked for evolution, until now.

    1. kevinearick

      it’s like kids that grow on a fixation of hating their parents, instead of pursuing their own path; they become their parents.

      nature distributes talents because it wants them expressed. the level of expression is a feedback loop.

      History is a contrived book of misdirection that fixates on poor humans as the center of the universe, one of many possible perceptions.

      1. Skippy

        As much, as I enjoy your machinations.

        Your channeling Herbert Spencer or impersonation, is in my book, apologetic to the deeds done dirt cheep, expressed by Faustian engineering 1800s vernacular style, too dress up a sordid party.

        Skippy…You befoul the Universe, in it’s unburdened state with parallels to human blindness, the Universe does not have a plan, it is, unlike us.

        1. kevinearick

          hey skippy…

          confidence in the unknowable;

          for me, it’s like being mad at any other critter, and I’m sure you know what kind of critters;

          order & disorder, depends on which side of the fulcrum you wish to operate on, or whether a fulcrum rests on your back. there are many luxuries that I must forego in my position, to balance those of others.

          1. kevinearick

            chewing out a boss in public is counter-productive, because there is no end to the line of replacements, many of whom are their most bitter detractors, and the devil you know …

            Besides, I prefer to look them in the eye when I do it.

      2. kevinearick

        to be fair, the other countries agreed to dependence on artificial US demand in order to solve their demographic deceleration failures with artificial exports.

        1. Skippy

          confidence in the unknowable; = jimerick / deathbed calculations by/buy those that need it.

          chewing out a boss in public is counter-productive, because there is no end to the line of replacements, many of whom are their most bitter detractors, and the devil you know… = threat, and I for one do not respond well to, that tool, at my diminish-ment with out-regard, full stop.

          to be fair, the other countries agreed to dependence on artificial US demand in order to solve their demographic deceleration failures with artificial exports. = elitist deal makers should eat their own bread and suffer the gastric consequences with out contact infection of the populace, full stop.

          Skippy…economic syphilis is not remedied by more contact , me thinks.

          PS. I have some moldy rye grain…all have eaten…except the lower portion of the town eats more of it…witches are in shadows of the virtuous minds…eh…a nation gone mad.

          1. Skippy

            Besides, I prefer to look them in the eye when I do it.

            Skippy…You go too far and you should know that as a gentlemen, if such is the case, we would defer such antics. For if your impetus is of the knowing of myself it is egregious and presupposes the occasion and its out comes, that in it’s self would be not one I could muster, if given the power of all seeing.

  6. Philo

    Beevis builds safety nets for the black women, while Butthead builds prisons for the uh…
    The article dares not mention that group or their net worth.

  7. EBENEZER DUCK


    lump people together according to a pre-defined agenda

    ~~Alex~

    Alex splain it later. The key to this discussion is to ask the proper question, lump the proper sub-lump, walk the talk, talk the walk and bump the lump. People are divided into 3 lumps, those who can count Countesses and those who can’t.

    Should we lump people not by things you can see at a distance like color but by things more essential like drug addiction to beer and cigarettes? Does more essential also include addiction to gambling on the stock market when you could be properly invested in solid T-bonds from http://WWW.TREASURYDIRECT.GOV ?

    U B Judge

    U B Slim, Carlos

  8. leftback

    Black working women often end up saving little for the simple reason they are supporting large extended families of children and grandchildren, many of whom may be unemployed or underemployed. Their industry would not be questioned by anyone who has lived or worked in inner city communities.

  9. nowhereman

    First item on the agenda, outlaw sociologists; you know, those kind hearted individuals who blame everyone else for the state you find yourself in.
    Second item; ban all psychologists; you know, those individuals that have studied you emotional weaknesses so that you can be marketed to, so that you can never be satisfied.
    You must excel, you must acquire, you must aspire, you must compete, you must take advantage of the situation, and each other. AND if it doesn’t work out for you, then it’s societies fault, and government must do something about it.
    Talk about cognitive capture, until you can “see” how you are being manipulated, you can do nothing to change it. To stop being manipulated, stop blaming others, and start to take responsibility for your decisions.
    It’s really not that easy because it requires a cognitive awareness of the constant bombardment of all pervading propaganda about what it means to be a human in this society.

    1. DJP

      My bet is that all factors being equal, such as income, credit score, assets, etc., there is no disparity in the quality of the loans extended to African Americans.

      This is particularly true in this age of extreme racial sensitivity. My money would actually be on African Americans receiving somewhat better terms, all other things being equal.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        DJP,

        You are dead wrong here. Studies of auto loans and home loans, income adjusted, show a strong pattern of discrimination against blacks. And this is not single studies; this general finding has been replicated.

        Moreover, in a well publicized study, two identical resumes, save the name of the candidate were sent to prospective employers, one for a male candidate, the other female. The male and female “mailings” were then divided into two further groups: one with a WASPy name on it, the other with a likely black name (Lakisha or Tryone, say).

        Not only did the black-looking names get an overwhelmingly lower interest rate, but when the socioligists went further (as in got permission to monitor peopele receiving resumes, and started salting the samples) they found that the recruiters often stopped reading as soon as they saw the probably-black name.

      2. KS

        Stop it. You know better than that DJP. You wouldn’t bet a penny on your premise because you know you would lose your money.

  10. Eric

    Is there a law against offering anyone a higher priced product (like a subprime loan) when a lower priced one is available? I’ve been wondering what the signficance of these subprimes disparities is. Usually, if a sales person can make a more profitable sales it is not viewed as a big problem and the discipline in the system is supposed to come from other players that would do the business at a better price. Did banks conspire to hold back better mortgages to blacks, did they not shop around as much for better deals, or are their other facts relevent to this disparity that overrides the income factor? What’s the complete story? Interested in knowing more.

    1. Thisson

      The real story is that blacks as a group are more vulnerable to exploitation. That is what explains the disparities in auto lending, at least.

      Dealers see a black customer and calculate (consciously or subconsciously) that the odds are higher that this person will be a sucker. This is because, in general, blacks have less information about credit prices, terms and availability. They have less access to the internet. They have less access to transportation to go comparison shopping. Etc.

      Dealers make 90% of their profits off of the small number of suckers they find.

      They make the same series of calculations based upon any other “tells” that they might be dealing with a sucker, even if that person is white (e.g. are you a male wearing a suit? Then you’re less likely to be a sucker).

  11. Ina Pickle

    I think I’m going to be sick. I feel bad enough scrounging for my own family: if I had $5 to my name, and it was a week until the first of the month? My stomach hurts thinking about it.

    How can anyone say that this country is working properly? A country is only as decent and moral as the lives it affords its women and children. And from the comments some of you have made, I doubt things are going to improve soon.

    1. nowhereman

      How can anyone say that this country is working properly?
      You can’t as long as you let other people define what working properly means.
      Look at who controls the meaning of success and you’ll know whether the country is working properly. For the banksters things are proceeding swimmingly, for black women, not so much.
      Things will not and cannot improve as long as you allow the media, and their masters to define what’s proper. As long as we give credence to the Dr. Phil’s of this world to define what working properly is, there is no hope.
      We must not trust these so called experts, economists, sociologists, psychologists all have conflicts of interest since their funding is based on maintaining the status quo.

  12. Eagle

    There’s something wrong. How is it possible that women of color have a net worth of basically nothing when they are between 36 and 49, but it magically shoots up to $60,000 between 50 and 60? It’s impossible, some assumption/explanation is being left out of one of the numbers, or there’s something wrong with the polling.

    1. From Canada

      It’s called children (and other family). If the woman is the only family bread winner, she’s spending all of her income supporting others rather than saving that extra $$$

    2. anon

      Not necessarily. There could even be a relatively linear increase throughout the period from 50 – 60 YOs and you could get those results. E.g., if the median net worth for 50 YOs was $0, the median for 60 YOs was +$120k, the median net worth of the group would be $60k if there were equal numbers of people at each age and one’s net worth increased by around $12k/year. The ~$50k net worth of those over 60 could be explained by increasing net worth until retirement followed by decreasing net worth after retirement. The foregoing may not be what’s going on but shows one explanation.

      I’d also guess that inheritance plays a role. Many people are between 50 and 60 when they inherit money due to their parents’ deaths.

    3. anon

      People’s peak earning years are between ages 45 – 54 (109k on average for all workers). It only declines a bit between ages 55 – 65 (101k on average) but is still higher than in earlier years.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_earning_year

      pA4 of SCF09

      People, especially women, tend to earn more in those years. For women who care for kids, they have more time to work and fewer expenses. They are also more likely to retain better jobs because they don’t need to take off time to care for young children or grandchildren, elderly family members, or disabled family members.

      They’d also have more time and substantially fewer expenses during those years if they’d cared for their parents (as many women of all races tend to do) who died (or, e.g., if they’d been sending remittances to their parents who died). Even relatively small changes in savings can make a difference in net worth due to compounding.

      1. Eagle

        That wikipedia link doesn’t go anywhere, and this is still highly suspicious. Not only does there have to be an explanation for the incomprehensible jump for black women, but also why white women’s net worth didn’t jump by nearly as much in the same age range. It just seems highly unlikely these numbers are all correct.

        1. anon

          Here’s the wikipedia link

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_earning_years

          but also note the reference to pA4 of the SCF09, which is more specific

          Can you be more specific about why you think $57k over a 10-year period is an incomprehensible jump? It seems reasonable to me. If you couple fewer expenses (from, e.g., children moving out or getting jobs to help with household expenses, from parents dying) with longer hours, a more stable job with higher pay, then add an inheritance (for at least a good chunk of the 50 – 60 year olds) and possibly money from selling a house to move into a smaller one (or lower rent, either from living in a rent-controlled apartment for many years, from downsizing, or from relatively lower mortgage payments due to a fixed-rate loan plus substantial inflation over the life of the loan), what is incomprehensible about a $57K jump (for half the women in the sample) over a 10-year period?

          I’m not sure what you mean about white women’s wealth not increasing substantially during the period from ages 50 – 60. For white women, the median wealth for ages 36 – 49 is $42, 600. The median wealth for ages 50 – 65 is $111, 400. And white women’s wealth continues to increase (to $191k) after age 65 whereas the wealth of non-white or Hispanic women decreases from $57k to $47k. That may be because white women stay healthier and continue to work longer (and have less drain from medical expenses), because white women tend to inherit more during this period than minority women (since many minorities have shorter life expectancies than whites), or because of other reasons.

          1. anon

            Sorry, I’m still trying to master cut and paste. I’m disabled and it’s difficult for me.

            The last paragraph in my comment on March 14, 2010 at 4:52 am should read: ”

            I’m not sure what you mean about white women’s wealth not increasing as much as minority women during the period from ages 50 – 60. For white women, the median wealth for ages 36 – 49 is $42, 600. The median wealth for ages 50 – 65 is $111, 400. Therefore, there was a $68,800 increase for white women vs a $56, 975 increase for minority women. And white women’s wealth continues to increase (to $191k) after age 65 whereas the wealth of non-white or Hispanic women decreases from $57k to $47k. That may be because white women stay healthier and continue to work longer (and have less drain from medical expenses), because white women tend to inherit more during this period than minority women (since many minorities have shorter life expectancies than whites), or because of other reasons.

        2. anon

          For some reason, this didn’t show up at the end of my comment March 14, 2010 at 4:52 am:

          BTW, you keep using “black women”. The median wealth figures are for all minority women (i.e., Hispanic or non-white), not black women.

    4. Thisson

      It could also be that their low net worth is partially due to loans that get paid off during that period (mortgage, student loans, car loans, etc.)

  13. Vinny

    Come on, people. What’s the matter with you? Don’t you see the opportunity here? I say let’s all put our heads together and come up with a ponzi scheme custom-tailored to the needs of these ladies. Let’s assume there are 5 million black women worth $5 to their name. If only half of them invest their 5 bucks in our “Black Pride Retirement Fund”, that would mean 25 million into our Swiss account. Now, how’s that for brilliant, huh? :)

    Then, we focus on the Mexicans…

    Vinny

    1. Vinny

      Correction to the above rock-solid business plan:

      Revised math, performed by an undisclosed brilliant Nobel Prize laureate seems to indicate the total earnings in our Swiss account would be only $12.5 million. That’s why we need to focus on the Mexicans asap… :)

      Vinny

  14. PeonInChief

    One factor in the disparity between black and white women from age 36-49 is that African-American women may be caring for both children and parents during that period (as African American life-expectancy is lower than that for whites), while white women care for their children during this period, and then for their parents after age 50.

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