Women of color who do not marry have the lowest wealth in America.

New research shows that unmarried Black and Latina women have the lowest levels of wealth in America.

April 3rd 2024.

Women of color who do not marry have the lowest wealth in America.
A recent study has revealed some concerning statistics about the wealth gap in the United States. It found that Black and Latina women who have never been married have the least amount of wealth compared to other demographics. Upon further analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, it was discovered that 23% of adults who have never tied the knot have significantly less wealth than their married counterparts. This disparity is even more pronounced for unmarried Black and Hispanic women, as reported by Bloomberg.

In fact, the median wealth of a Black woman in 2022 was a mere 8 cents for every dollar that a White man owned. To put it into perspective, this translates to a measly $3,300 for Black women compared to the $31,000 median wealth of White women who have never been married. The gap is even more alarming for unwed mothers with minor children, who have a median wealth of just $3,900. It's clear that race and marital status play a significant role in one's financial stability.

Ana Hern√°ndez Kent, a senior researcher at the Institute for Economic Equity at the St. Louis Fed, addressed the gender wealth gap in a blog post. She noted that it's difficult to pinpoint the root cause with just one statistic, but the data shows that never-married Black and Hispanic women, as well as never-married mothers of any race, are the most financially vulnerable groups.

Interestingly, the study also revealed that never-married men actually saw an increase in wealth in 2022. This was attributed to having less debt compared to 2019. However, for women, owning real estate seems to be the key to catching up in terms of wealth accumulation. Unfortunately, this is not a feasible option for everyone.

These findings come on the heels of a 2022 Pew study that highlighted the gender pay gap. It showed that Black women earned only 70% of what White men earned, while Hispanic women earned even less at 65%. This disparity in earnings makes it even more challenging for certain groups to build wealth over time. And for never-married Black women, it's an uphill battle.

To address this pressing issue, the National League of Cities released a report in 2023 that outlined strategies for narrowing the racial wealth divide. These include addressing home ownership and putting an end to discriminatory practices like redlining. Other suggested solutions from Brookings Institute include increasing taxes on wealth, strengthening tax credits, reparations, targeted subsidies for homeownership, and reducing the costs of higher education. It's clear that urgent action is needed to bridge the wealth gap and create a more equitable society.

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