Foreclosures drain African-American wealth

(St. Louis American) Recently the Pew Research Center released an alarming report highlighting the fact that white Americans now have 20 times more wealth than African Americans and 18 times more wealth than Hispanic Americans. While this came as a shock to some, it is par for the course for others.

Historically, whites have always earned and accumulated more wealth than minorities in American society. Despite this, the white-black wealth gap is the widest it has been since the census began tracking the disparity in 1984, when the ratio was roughly 12 to 1.

The collapse of the housing market bubble coupled with the recession caused median wealth to fall by 53 percent for African-American households, 66 percent for Hispanics and 16 percent for whites. One of the main reasons for such a major decline in minority wealth is due to the fact that African Americans and Hispanic Americans tend to invest heavily in their homes without investing in other asset building products such as stocks, bonds and savings accounts.

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