Our analysis of Federal Reserve data does reveal a stark divide in the experiences of white – black and Hispanic households during the economic recovery. From 2010 to 2013 median wealth of non-Hispanic white households increased from $138,600 to $141,900, or by 2.4%.
Meanwhile, the median wealth of non-Hispanic black households fell 33.7%, from $16,600 in 2010 to $11,000 in 2013. Among Hispanics, median wealth decreased by 14.3%, from $16,000 to $13,700. For all families — white, black and Hispanic — median wealth is still less than its pre-recession level.
A number of factors seem responsible for the widening of the wealth gaps during the economic recovery. As the Federal Reserve notes, the median income of minority households (blacks, Hispanics and other non-whites combined) fell 9% from its 2010 to 2013 surveys – compared with a decrease of 1% for non-Hispanic white households. Thus minority households may not have replenished their savings as much as white households or they may have had to draw down their savings even more during the recovery.