Pew Center Study Finds Latino Families Hardest Hit By Recession

Latino families experienced the largest decline of any other racial or ethnic in wealth during the recession.  These finding are based on a study published today by the Pew Foundation that used data collected by the United States Census Bureau

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The foundation’s study found that the median wealth of Latino households fell 66 percent in four years (2005 to 2009).  This decline, according to The New York Times, marks the largest wealth disparity in the quarter-century since the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting this kind of data.  Paul Taylor, the author of the report and the executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, said the data is a stark reminder of the economic vulnerability of minorities who live at the economic margins in the U.S.

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Tracked by the Census Bureau in the Survey of Income and Program Participation, household wealth (referred to as net worth) is made up of assets such as a homes, cars, mortgages, or loans—to name a few.  The survey is an expansive sampling of household wealth by ethnicity and race.  According to the report, nearly two-thirds of the median net worth of Latinos came from home equity.  Their wealth collapsed when the housing market did.  The report added that the decline in Latinos’ home equity was further aggravated by the fact that we usually live in places that were hit hardest by the country’s recession, like California and Florida.

The Pew Foundation report states that the median wealth of Latinos and black households is at its lowest point since 1984.