Wednesday, December 7, 2011

wealth in the USA by race, religion, and gender


The racial composition of the United States:
White persons not Hispanic: 63.7%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin: 16.3%
Black persons: 12.6%
Asian persons: 4.8%
Persons reporting two or more races: 2.9%
American Indian and Alaska Native persons: 0.9%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.2%
Race and wealth:

Asians: 2009 Asians lost their place at the top of the wealth hierarchy. Their net worth fell from $168,103 in 2005 to $78,066 in 2009, a drop of 54%. Like Hispanics, they are geographically concentrated in places such as California that were hit hard by the housing market meltdown. The arrival of new Asian immigrants since 2004 also contributed significantly to the estimated decline in the overall wealth of this racial group. Absent the immigrants who arrived during this period, the median wealth of Asian households is estimated to have dropped 31% from 2005 to 2009. Asians account for about 5% of the U.S. population.
The wealth gap exists within race, too:

Though poverty and wealth are racially disproportionate, there are, as in Martin Luther King's day, still twice as many white people in poverty as black:

People in Poverty


   White, not Hispanic

Hispanic origin


Religious ethnicity:

Wealth and religious ethnicity:


Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender:"As of April 2011, approximately 3.5% of American adults identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 0.3% are transgender—approximately 11.7 million Americans."

Women and wealth:
The U.S. Census's report on the wage gap reported "When we account for difference between male and female work patterns as well as other key factors, women earned, on average, 80 percent of what men earned in 2000… Even after accounting for key factors that affect earnings, our model could not explain all of the differences in earnings between men and women."
Same-sex couples and wealth:
While the median income for same-sex couples' households is slightly higher than for straight couples, the figure drops significantly when raising children is factored in. Same-sex couples raising children reported a median income of $46,200, compared to $59,600 for straight couples.

A large part of this gap is due to the fact that even if same-sex couples are fortunate to enjoy domestic partner benefits, such as health insurance, those benefits are taxed. Spousal benefits for straight couples aren't taxed. One lesbian couple interviewed in Arizona described the impact of this extra tax for them. Tina Merrell estimated this penalty at about $10,000 per year to cover her partner and their child on her health insurance.
ETA: At G+, Steven Sudit left this comment: "Google not only covers the family insurance, it pays extra to counteract the tax hit. I've never seen a more LGBT-friendly company."

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