New Findings on Wealth and Poverty in the U.S.

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The U.S. Census Bureau has released the 2013 Wealth and Asset Ownership Detailed Tables highlighting the household net worth of American households. The tables “highlight annual household net worth estimates at the national level and are broken down by selected characteristics, such as race, household structure and poverty status.”

Statistics by Race and Hispanic Origin of Householder

Average Total Household Net Worth

White alone – $103,963

White alone, not Hispanic – $132,483

Black alone – $9,211

Asian alone – $112,250

Other (residual) – $13,703

Hispanic origin (any race) – $12,460

Not of Hispanic origin – $99,394

Total Net Worth Excluding Equity in Own Home

White alone – $34,755

White alone, not Hispanic – $51,096

Black alone – $2,725

Asian alone – $41,507

Other (residual) – $4,270

Hispanic origin (any race) – $5,839

Not of Hispanic origin – $33,699

Percent with Assets at Financial Institutions

White alone – 91.2

White alone, not Hispanic – 93.2

Black alone – 76.6

Asian alone – 95.3

Other (residual) – 83.8

Hispanic origin (any race) – 79.7

Not of Hispanic origin – 90.7

Percent with Retirement Accounts

White alone – 55.1

White alone, not Hispanic – 59.0

Black alone – 35.0

Asian alone – 53.3

Other (residual) – 38.9

Hispanic origin (any race) – 33.8

Not of Hispanic origin – 54.7

As these findings illustrate, there is a disparity between the net worth of Hispanic origin and Black alone households and White alone and White alone, not Hispanic households. The Asian alone demographic is an exception to the disproportion minorities face, surpassing the net worth of White alone households.

This gap can also be seen in the percentage of households that have assets at financial institutions and those possessing retirement accounts. A strong financial institution relationship is a tremendous helping hand for homeownership, as unbanked and underbanked households have a higher difficulty of qualifying for mortgages and establishing good credit scores.

Homeownership can solidify one’s economic wellbeing, but poverty remains a pervasive roadblock for Black alone and Hispanic origin households, which endure poverty levels of 26.4 and 27.4 percent, respectively. Female householders without a husband present have a similarly difficult path with a poverty level of 36.6 percent.

From financial literacy to obtaining higher levels of education, there are crucial tools these struggling demographics need to situate themselves for success. As an industry and country, we need to work to expand access to these resources for the sake of today’s and tomorrow’s families.

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