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The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Old 03-17-10, 08:57 PM
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The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

And that is based on data largely prior to the recent economic downturn.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10068/1041225-28.stm

Study finds median wealth for single black women at $5
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
By Tim Grant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Women of all races bring home less income and own fewer assets, on average, than men of the same race, but for single black women the disparities are so overwhelmingly great that even in their prime working years their median wealth amounts to only $5.

In a groundbreaking report released Monday by a leading economic research group, social scientists turned a spotlight on the grave financial challenges facing an often overlooked group of women, many of whom could not take an unpaid sick day or repair a major appliance without going into debt.

"It's rather shocking," said Meizhu Lui, director of the Closing the Gap Initiative based in Oakland, Calif., who contributed to the report "Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth and America's Future."

Among the most startling revelations in the wealth data is that while single white women in the prime of their working years (ages 36 to 49) have a median wealth of $42,600 (still only 61 percent of their single white male counterparts), the median wealth for single black women is only $5.

"Even for those of us who have been looking at the wealth gap for a while, we were shocked and amazed at how little women of color have," Ms. Lui said.

Researchers at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, based in Oakland, Calif., analyzed data from the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances, a voluminous report the Federal Reserve Board issues every three years that examines household finances in this country.

Wealth, or net worth, measures the total of one's assets -- cash in the bank, stocks, bonds and real estate; minus debts -- home mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and student loans. The most recent financial data was collected before the economic downturn, so the current numbers likely are worse now than at the time of the study.

Black women, in general, were more likely to have participated in the subprime loan crisis with upper-income black women being five times more likely to have received a high-cost mortgage than upper-income white men.

"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.

"There are excuses and circumstances that have evolved in society, which put black women where they are," said Esther Bush, executive director of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, who said in Pittsburgh more than 70 percent of African-American families are headed by single women.

The recession has hit single mothers especially hard.

According to a recent report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research and the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania, more than four out of 10 families headed by single mothers in Pittsburgh and more than one in three in Pennsylvania, live in poverty.

In Pittsburgh and across the country, the financial burdens of single parenthood fall mostly on women, but black women are more likely to endure the work and responsibility of raising children on their own. They are more likely to be the backbone of their families and communities, with greater responsibilities to support struggling friends and families.

In a 2008 study of black women and their money, the ING Foundation found that black women -- who frequently manage the assets of their households -- financially support friends, family and their houses of worship to a much greater degree than the general population.

They also are more likely to be employed in jobs and industries -- such as service occupations -- with lower pay and less access to health insurance. And when their working days are done, they rely most heavily on Social Security because they are less likely to have personal savings, retirement accounts or company pensions. Their Social Security benefits are likely to be lower, too, because of their low earnings.

Rather than strictly comparing income, researchers in the Insight study looked at the wealth gap. The current economic crisis has shown that a person's wealth affects not only retirement security, but also a person's ability to handle financial setbacks such as a job loss or a health emergency.

High unemployment and high incarceration rates for black men also lower the likelihood of single black women finding a partner to help build a more secure financial future.

Ms. Lui said the Insight report would be used to encourage the government to close the wealth gap and improve the outlook for women of color, just as it did for Americans who received land through the Homestead Act, and education through the GI bill.

"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?

"Our government knows how to build wealth for people. They've done it for others and they can do it for all of us. They need to focus some attention on women of color. Look at the situation and see what we need."
Link to actual study (PDF):

http://www.insightcced.org/uploads/C...Spring2010.pdf
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Old 03-17-10, 09:02 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

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Old 03-17-10, 09:08 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

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Old 03-17-10, 09:22 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

So what you're saying is WalMart still has the best prices?
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Old 03-17-10, 09:26 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

I didn't think black people were allowed in walmarts
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Old 03-17-10, 09:40 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

The Insight Center for Community Economic Development. Seems a little like my publishing a study to determine if I'm getting enough sex. Guess what the result was.
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Old 03-17-10, 10:39 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by cpgator View Post
I didn't think black people were allowed in walmarts
Only in New Jersey.
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Old 03-17-10, 10:40 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by Thor Simpson View Post
So what you're saying is WalMart still has the best prices?
http://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk/...bie-_____.html
I was going to say that the women should be more niggardly toward their personal finances but then I remembered this thread!
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Old 03-17-10, 10:43 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by Rockmjd23 View Post
I was going to say that the women should be more niggardly toward their personal finances but then I remembered this thread!
Sir, I challenge you to say that to a group of black men. They are probably lawyers and would sue you!
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Old 03-17-10, 11:04 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Did they count Oprah as black?
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Old 03-17-10, 11:33 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Median =/= average. Also, statistically, Oprah is a conservative white male.
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Old 03-17-10, 11:40 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

It's really sad that they have to go into debt to fix a broken refrigerator or take a day off if their kid is sick. I knew a single mom in that situation. She did the best she could but damn, life could really beat her up. Sucks
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Old 03-17-10, 11:45 PM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Wow, that's fucking sad. I'll blame Black Men <i>then</i> I'll read the article....
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Old 03-18-10, 01:14 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Sir, I challenge you to say that to a group of black men. They are probably lawyers and would sue you!
Who are undoubtedly married to white women.
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Old 03-18-10, 01:15 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by PrincessT View Post
It's really sad that they have to go into debt to fix a broken refrigerator or take a day off if their kid is sick. I knew a single mom in that situation. She did the best she could but damn, life could really beat her up. Sucks
You should have given her $10 to ---- on your ---- and then ---- on your ---- while ----ing a ----. It's OK, she can't afford to by a vowel.
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Old 03-18-10, 04:29 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Who are undoubtedly married to white women.
Let's face it, a disadvantage in social class isn't something you accumulate in the United States (the American dream is just what it is...a dream) it's something you're born with. The comedian C. K. Lewis says it very bluntly since he sees past political correctness... you can go to any point in time and being a white man it is advantageous in most of the civilized (white) world. Let's face it, not just race, but religion, science, knowledge of math and geography all got to Europe's head and the white man used power for the advantage of self rather than humankind because people believed races were on a scale of less to more superior. Let's face it social darwinism had a lot of effect on how we viewed humanity.

Racism is something we are only recently trying to surpass. Frankly I hope it is accepted throughout the world that all humans are equals, but I don't see it being visible in the social stratosphere any time soon. The sad part is that science was only beginning to expand our knowledge of genetics when Darwin brought along his theory that there are certain portions of genetic code within a minority of the species that are superior. We only knew a fraction of what we know now when the Nazis used social darwinism to abuse power and to eliminate anyone they decided was weaker in the spectrum of humanity. The reality is we are all quite similar, cultures follow patterns regardless of race. Frankly the white man has had so much power for so long it is a scary advantage that most rich white men wont quickly admit or give up for any commonly accepted moral reason.
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Old 03-18-10, 04:44 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

"It's rather shocking," said Meizhu Lui, director of the Closing the Gap Initiative based in Oakland, Calif., who contributed to the report "Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth and America's Future."
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Old 03-18-10, 06:26 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

<i>Mod note: Seems a more appropriate subject for the Political Forum....</i>
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Old 03-18-10, 07:09 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by Guarddog View Post
Let's face it, a disadvantage in social class isn't something you accumulate in the United States (the American dream is just what it is...a dream) it's something you're born with. The comedian C. K. Lewis says it very bluntly since he sees past political correctness... you can go to any point in time and being a white man it is advantageous...
Ahem, Louis CK.



Racism is something we are only recently trying to surpass.
Since we are on the subject of Louis CK, he says right there in his act that he is not saying that white people are better, but that being white is better. That's a valid point.

How would you attribute assign much of the blame for this apparent fiscal disparity to racism?
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Old 03-18-10, 08:19 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
Median =/= average.
Actually, the median is a type of average. 'Average' is simply a generic term for a measure of central tendency. When most people say 'average' they are talking about the arithmetic mean, but in some cases, i.e., income or net worth, the median is a more appropriate measure.
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Old 03-18-10, 09:31 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

There is undoubtedly a disproportionate distribution of wealth by race in this country. Wealth undoubtedly affects opportunity. It's difficult to measure how much race affects opportunity in addition to the discrepancy of wealth, but surely we are not beyond racial factors today. However, great progress has clearly been made and the timeline for that progress is incredibly short over the span of history. Still work to be done? Always. We shouldn't be content with where we are today, though proud of how far we have come.
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Old 03-18-10, 09:35 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

They should pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
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Old 03-18-10, 09:41 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by Thor Simpson View Post
There is undoubtedly a disproportionate distribution of wealth by race in this country. Wealth undoubtedly affects opportunity. It's difficult to measure how much race affects opportunity in addition to the discrepancy of wealth, but surely we are not beyond racial factors today. However, great progress has clearly been made and the timeline for that progress is incredibly short over the span of history. Still work to be done? Always. We shouldn't be content with where we are today, though proud of how far we have come.
That sounds almost 'sermon like.'
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Old 03-18-10, 09:42 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
They should pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
Maybe if you explained to them how much you pay in taxes, they would better understand the situation.
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Old 03-18-10, 09:44 AM
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Re: The median net worth of a single black woman is...$5

We'll never be past the racial divide until we start looking at socioeconomic opportunity rather than racial opportunity. It's perfectly fair to look at black women as a group statistically and see a need. But the best result of that study, in my opinion, is to then target the success of the demographics in which the most black women reside, not merely the success of black women. You end up affecting a disproportionate number of black women without using race as a qualifier. That's in my perfect little world that doesn't really exist, of course.
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