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US Racial Gap Deepens: Study

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Section: International News Geography: USA Topics: racism, poverty

October 23, 2004

US Racial Gap Deepens: Study

Analysis of recent US Census data by the Pew Hispanic Centre has shown that black and hispanic families have born a disproporationate share of the hardship of economic downturns since 1999. The study found that the median net worth of white households was 11 times greater than Hispanic families and 14 times greater than that of African-American families.

"We have always known about the wealth gap, but what is new and disturbing is that the gaps are increasing," said Roderick Harrison, a demographer at the Joint Centre for Political and Economic Studies.

The effects of inequality are exacerbated by the fact that the families most likely to be affected by economic slumps are those most likely to be just scraping by. "Many of them are living on the edge and more than one quarter have zero or negative wealth," said the author of the report. "They don't have the cushion, and that makes recovery harder."

Dru Oja Jay

» The Guardian: US Wealth Gap Grows for Ethnic Minorities

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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