Sanguinity sent in an interesting, if disheartening, report by Insight Center for Community Economic Development. The report looks at the assets owned by women of color and the wealth gap between them and men of different racial/ethnic groups.

An overview of wealth (the value of all assets minus the value of debts) broken down by race/ethnicity and type of household:

Of course, the most striking finding there are the major disparities by race, particularly how much wealth White non-Hispanics have compared to all other groups (largely due to owning more valuable homes). Notice that single White men and women have higher median household wealth than married Black or Hispanic couples. This is astounding.

Blacks and Hispanics are more likely than Whites to have no wealth at all, or to have debts outweigh all assets; again, unmarried Whites are better off in this regard than are married Blacks and Hispanics:

Among single parents, women appear to bear a disproportionate amount of the financial hardships of caring for children. White single mothers with children of any age (second column) have only 57% as much wealth as White single fathers; the equivalent ratio for Blacks is 0.4% and for Hispanics, 5%. Read that again: 0.4% and 5% as much wealth as single fathers from the same race! And take a look at the actual cash value: median wealth for Black women is $100, and for Hispanic women, it’s $120!

But then look at that third column! If you’re a single mother and have children under the age of 18 — who are more likely to be living with you than with their father — your financial picture is pretty dismal. Black and Hispanic women with children under age 18 have a median wealth of zero, meaning half have no wealth at all or owe more than all their assets combined are worth. Even White women, who are absolutely wealthy by comparison, have only 14% as much wealth as White single fathers with children under age 18.

Thinking about the implications of those numbers — the very meager financial resources available to many families, the particularly difficult situation of single mothers of all races, what this means for a family’s ability to cope with a crisis such as a car breaking down or a medical emergency, the ability to come up with deposits for an apartment — is mind-blowing.

The report has quite a bit of other information too, so if you’re interested in this topic, go check it out.

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