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June 23rd, 2012
09:55 AM ET

Recession widens racial wealth gap

American families lost nearly 40% of their net worth between 2007 and 2010, but the drop for African American families was even more extreme.

CNNMoney's Tami Luhby crunched the numbers:

The median household net worth for whites was $110,729 in 2010, versus $4,995 for blacks, according to recently released Census Bureau figures.
The gap between the races widened considerably during the recent economic downturn, which whites weathered better than blacks, Hispanics and Asians.
The latter three groups saw their median household net worth fall by roughly 60% between 2005 and 2010, while the median net worth for white households slipped only 23%.

That wealth gap is nothing new. African American families had hoped the first African American president would address their issues. Demos senior fellow Bob Herbert and Ryan Mack, the president of wealth management firm Optimum Capital Management, disagree about whether the president has done all he can.


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