Friday, July 29, 2011

Is Wealth Inequality Increasing in Ward 6? (Part 1)

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reviewed a Pew Research Center report on the widening wealth gap between whites and minorities. Lately, I have written about the Gini index, which is often used to measure inequalities in household income. The Pew study importantly studies household wealth, which is made up of assets (houses, cars, banking accounts, etc) minus debts (mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, etc). According to the Post, the most significant findings were:

"Between 2005 and 2009, the median net worth of Hispanic households dropped by 66 percent and that of black households fell by 53 percent, according to the report. In contrast, the median net worth of white households dropped by only 16 percent.

The median net worth of a white family now stands at 20 times that of a black family and 18 times that of a Hispanic family — roughly twice the gap that existed before the recession and the biggest gap since data began being collected in 1984."

The Pew Research Center graph to the left dramatically represents the enormous differences in wealth.

In addition, during the recession, the wealth gap within these groups increased. Across all groups, during the recession, the wealthy became more wealthy: "Between 2005 and 2009, the share of wealth owned by the wealthiest 10 percent of all households rose to 56 percent from 49 percent."

Did the wealthy become more wealthy and the poor become more poor in Ward 6 during the recession? I'm working on getting an answer to this.

2 comments:

  1. i'll look forward to hearing what you find! are you going to do an analysis fo dc as a whole, too?

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  2. hi Katie,
    I wanted to look at the data for just Ward 6, but it is only available for the DC-VA-MD metropolitan region. So, we'll see how this goes!
    Johanna

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