The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households, according to an analysis of newly available government data from 2009. These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession that ended in 2009. The bursting of the housing market bubble in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took a far greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites. White household wealth declined 16% from 2005 to 2009, while household wealth of Hispanics fell 66% and the wealth of blacks dropped by 53 percent during the same period. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.