London, July 27: The wealth gaps between whites and minorities in America have grown to their widest, leaving whites on average with 20 times the net worth of blacks and 18 times that of Hispanics, a study has revealed.
The study conducted by Pew Research Center showed the racial and ethnic impact of the economic meltdown, which ravaged housing values and sent unemployment soaring.
According to the study, the median wealth of white US households in 2009 was 113,149 dollars compared with 6,325 dollars for Hispanics and 5,677 dollars for blacks, the Daily Mail reports.
Those ratios, roughly 20 to one for blacks and 18 to one for Hispanics, far exceed the low mark of seven to one for both groups in 1995, when the nation’s economic expansion lifted many low-income groups to the middle class.
The white-black wealth gap is also the widest since the census began tracking such data in 1984, when the ratio was roughly 12 to one.
The study revealed that after reaching a median wealth of 18,359 dollars in 2005, the wealth of Hispanics, who derived nearly two-thirds of their net worth from home equity, declined by 66 percent by 2009.
Among blacks, who now have the highest unemployment rate at 16.2 percent, their household wealth fell 53 per cent from 12,124 dollars to 5,677 dollars.
In contrast, the median household wealth of whites dipped a modest 16 percent from 134,992 to 113,149 dollars.
The latest data comes as President Obama and congressional leaders try to reach a deal to avoid a US default on its financial obligations after August 2, the paper said.
Democrats and Republicans have been wrangling over proposals that could cut trillions of dollars from programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
They are divided over whether to bring in new tax revenue, such as by closing corporate tax loopholes or increasing taxes for the wealthy. (ANI)