National Institute on Aging

UCLA Study Finds Huge Racial Wealth Gap in Los Angeles

Color_of_Wealth_Report copyA new report led by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles offers data on the racial wealth gap in the nation’s second largest metropolitan area. The report finds that the typical African American household in Los Angeles has on average only about 1 percent of the average wealth of non-Hispanic White households. The data shows that the median net worth of White households was $355,000. For African American households the median net worth was $4,000.

Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, and Asian Indian households in Los Angeles all had a higher average net worth than White households.

Melany De La Cruz-Viesca, assistant director of the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA and lead author of the report, states that “this report not only reveals a nuanced story of racial wealth differences in L.A., perhaps more importantly, it also explores the local nature of asset markets and what factors influence the wealth status of communities of color.”

The full report, The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles, may be downloaded by clicking here.


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  1. Dr. HD says:

    1. How is it possible that other Latinos 42.5K have more wealth than Mexicans?
    2. How is it possible that Africans 72K have more wealth than native born Blacks?
    3. Is it mostly due to homeownership?
    White households are more likely to be homeowners (68 percent), along with Chinese (68
    percent) and Japanese (64 percent) households. By contrast, approximately two-fifths of U.S.
    blacks, 44 percent of African blacks, and 45 percent of Mexican households were
    homeowners. Fifty-seven percent of Filipinos were more likely to own a home, which was
    slightly higher than 53 percent of Vietnamese. Both Korean (40 percent) and Asian Indian
    (40 percent) households were among the least likely groups to be homeowners.
    4. Could it be student loan debt?
    The percentage of white households that reported having student loan debt was 15.3
    percent. Other Latino (4.8 percent), Japanese (8.1 percent), and Asian Indian (4.5 percent)
    households were the least likely to have student loan debt. In comparison, U.S. black (20.5
    percent), Korean (15.9 percent) and Filipino (15.5 percent) households were more likely to
    have student loan debt. Although obtaining a college degree provides greater lifetime
    earnings potential than only a high school diploma, clear disadvantages are associated with
    a debt-burdened college degree.

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