Sunday, March 14, 2010

"Study finds median wealth for single black women at $5"

A Facebook friend posted this article and I posted it there, but it certainly deserves to be posted and plastered everywhere. I suppose I thought that by choosing writing/editing, a career path the unsteady income, I was kind of an exception, but it looks like that is not the case. Overall, black women aren't doing so well financially. I'm glad the article points out the complexity of this issue--it isn't because black women keep shopping or getting their hair done that they are at a financial disadvantage.

"The popular image is they spend too much, which is the reason they are running up credit card and consumer debt, but the cost of living has risen faster than income, and they need to go into debt for basic daily necessities," Ms. Lui said. "It's compounded because unemployment is twice as high in the black community than it is in the white community."

For all working-age black women 18 to 64, the financial picture is bleak. Their median household wealth is only $100. Hispanic women in that age group have a median wealth of $120.

"That means half of [black women] have a net worth of more than $100 and half have a net worth of less than $100," Ms. Lui said. "So that gives you an idea of how far in debt some women of color are."

Married or cohabitating white women have a median wealth of $167,500. Married or cohabitating black women have a median net worth of $31,500.

The reasons behind the daunting financial challenges black women face are numerous and complex.


"If wealth was based on hard work, African-Americans would be the wealthiest people in our nation," she said. "It's not about behavior. It's about government policies. Who does the government help and who is it not helping?"

Study finds median wealth for single black women at $5

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