clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chart: the average white family is 74 times wealthier than the average Hispanic family

Dylan Matthews is a senior correspondent and head writer for Vox's Future Perfect section and has worked at Vox since 2014. He is particularly interested in global health and pandemic prevention, anti-poverty efforts, economic policy and theory, and conflicts about the right way to do philanthropy.

This chart from Mother Jones' Dave Gilson and designer Mattias Mackler is a very powerful illustration of the enormous wealth gap between white and non-white households:

mother jones wealth gap

(Gilson/Mackler, Mother Jones; data via Edward Wolff)

The median white family is almost 20 times richer than the median black family, and 74 times richer than the median Hispanic family. This holds up even when you look at relatively advantaged black and Hispanic families. As Danielle Kurtzleben noted a couple weeks ago, the typical white family headed by a high-school dropout is worth more than the median family headed by a black or Hispanic college graduate.

And regardless of race, the median household has seen its net worth decline compared to 1984 levels; households at the 25th percentile of net worth have seen their wealth decline by more than half. It's worth noting that the typical household's net worth comes mostly from home equity; if you exclude primary residences and any debt associated with them, the median 2010 family's net worth falls from $77,300 to $29,800 (61.4 percent). That's real wealth, but it's not exactly liquid and doesn't substitute for more flexible, and higher-performing, types of savings.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.