African-American and Hispanic Income, Wealth and Homeownership since 1989

Edward N. Wolff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper analyzes trends in the income, net worth, and homeownership of non-Hispanic African-Americans and Hispanics relative to non-Hispanic whites in the United States from 1989 to 2016 and the reasons for those trends using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances. The wealth gap between African-American and white families was much the same in 2007 as in 1989 but it lessened considerably for Hispanics. The net worth of both minorities declined sharply relative to that of non-Hispanic whites from 2007 to 2016 and that decline was due largely to the lower rate of return on wealth of these two groups during the 2007–2010 period and largely due to the larger dissaving of these two groups during the 2010–2016 period. The paper also finds that the wealth gap is much smaller if net worth is augmented by pension wealth and especially by Social Security wealth.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)189-233
    Number of pages45
    JournalReview of Income and Wealth
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2022


    • Social Security
    • household wealth
    • inequality
    • pensions
    • portfolio composition
    • racial inequality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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