Census data show wealth of whites is 20 times that of blacks, widest US gap in quarter-century

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By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The wealth gaps between whites and minorities have grown to their widest levels in a quarter-century. The recession and uneven recovery have erased decades of minority gains, leaving whites on average with 20 times the net worth of blacks and 18 times that of Hispanics, according to an analysis of new Census data.The analysis shows the racial and ethnic impact of the economic meltdown, which ravaged housing values and sent unemployment soaring. It offers the most direct government evidence yet of the disparity between predominantly younger minorities whose main asset is their home and older whites who are more likely to have 401(k) retirement accounts or other stock holdings.

“What’s pushing the wealth of whites is the rebound in the stock market and corporate savings, while younger Hispanics and African-Americans who bought homes in the last decade — because that was the American dream — are seeing big declines,” said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who specializes in income inequality.

The median wealth of white U.S. households in 2009 was $113,149, compared with $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks, according to the analysis released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. Those ratios, roughly 20 to 1 for blacks and 18 to 1 for Hispanics, far exceed the low mark of 7 to 1 for both groups reached 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 1.

“I am afraid that this pushes us back to what the Kerner Commission characterized as ‘two societies, separate and unequal,’” said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau, referring to the 1960s presidential commission that examined U.S. race relations. “The great difference is that the second society has now become both black and Hispanic.”

Stock holdings play an important role in the economic well-being of white households. Stock funds, IRA and Keogh accounts as well as 401(k) and savings accounts were responsible for 28 percent of whites’ net worth, compared with 19 percent for blacks and 15 percent for Hispanics.

According to the Pew study, the housing boom of the early to mid-2000s boosted the wealth of Hispanics in particular, who were disproportionately employed in the thriving construction industry. Hispanics also were more likely to live and buy homes in states such as California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona, which were in the forefront of the real estate bubble, enjoying early gains in home values.

But those gains quickly shriveled in the housing bust. After reaching a median wealth of $18,359 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 percent from $12,124 to $5,677.

[Source Washington Post]

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Más de 50 millones de hispanos

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Image by WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com) via Flickr

Por: Cristina F. Pereda

Quedan tres décadas para que los blancos norteamericanos sean una minoría en Estados Unidos. Esa es la estimación del Censo, por ahora. Pero el organismo encargado de determinar la población cada diez años también estimaba un crecimiento menor de la comunidad hispana. Ysegún los datos publicados este juevesla comunidad hispana creció un 43 por ciento en la última década, pasando de 35 a 50.5 millones en 2010.

Son uno de cada seis norteamericanos -la población de Estados Unidos alcanzó los 308.7 millones también en 2010. Son 50.5 millones de hispanosque se identificaron con las casillas del cuestionario del censo que indican “hispano o latino”, en referencia a personas de origen cubano, mexicano, puertorriqueño, latinoamericano o de otra cultura de origen español independientemente de su raza.

El censo también confirma así que más de la mitad del crecimiento de la población norteamericana estos diez años ha sido gracias a la contribución de los hispanos. Los últimos datos dibujan un mapa completo de lo que hasta ahora habíamos intuido a trozos.

Desde que se realizara el último censo en abril de 2010, hemos sabido que en estados como California, los hispanos ya son mayoría entre los menores de 18 años. En algunos condados la población latina es mayoría, liderando la tendencia que poco a poco se extiende por todo el país. La semana pasada la Oficina del Censo admitía que este grupo ha crecido “de forma inesperada“. Los hispanos han contribuído -gracias a niveles de natalidad más altos que el resto de la población- a que también aumenten las cifras totales de Estados Unidos.

El cambio tiene importantes consecuencias para el futuro del país. Son el grupo de población de mayor y más rápido crecimiento. Su poder adquisitivo y sus diferentes hábitos de consumo con respecto a otros grupos suponen un reto para empresas y anunciantes. Están cambiando el rostro de las escuelas de todo el país. El español crece con ellos.

Y a los políticos ya no les basta con hacer anuncios en español durante la campaña electoral. Cualquier candidato tiene que hacer malabares con los intereses de la comunidad hispana, el idioma y las características de un conjunto poblacional nada homogéneo y nada conformista. Desde hace dos años reclaman la promesa de Obama sobre la reforma migratoria. Una promesa incumplida que puede marcar diferencias en las elecciones de 2012. Como lo hizo la inmigración en 2010. Los hispanos ya deciden convocatorias electorales, como decidieron en Nevada, Florida o Nuevo México el pasado noviembre.

“Se trata de un grupo muy joven y que está creciendo por la natalidad, no por la inmigración. Se están extendiendo prácticamente por todos los condados del país, y crecen especialmente en estados donde los latinos no estaban presentes hace diez años”, explicaba a la agencia Reuters la experta del Centro Pew de Investigación, D’Vera Cohn.

Ha sido esa migración interna la que ha sorprendido al censo. Los hispanos han contribuído al aumento de la población en 13 de los 16 estados del sur. Como contábamos en el estreno de este blog, el estado de Martin Luther King habla español. Los primeros datos del censo detallaban que en tres condados de Georgia -como después supimos sobre California- los blancos han cedido la mayoría a otras comunidades. Hace sólo 20 años el 88 por ciento de los menores eran blancos no hispanos. Ahora los latinos son mayoría.

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Latinos Fuel Growth in Decade

By SUDEEP REDDY

In a demographic shift touching every corner of the U.S., the Hispanic population grew faster than expected and accounted for more than half of the nation’s growth over the past decade, with the group’s increase driven by births and immigration.

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The Census Bureau—in its first nationwide demographic tally from the 2010 headcount—said Thursday the U.S. Hispanic population surged 43%, rising to 50.5 million in 2010 from 35.3 million in 2000. Latinos now constitute 16% of the nation’s total population of 308.7 million.

The Census Bureau has estimated that the non-Hispanic white population would drop to 50.8% of the total population by 2040—then drop to 46.3% by 2050. This demographic transformation—Latinos now account for about one in four people under age 18—holds the potential to shift the political dynamics across the country.

“The Hispanic population is under-represented in the electorate and politically because of demographic factors,” including the high share under age 18 and the high number of immigrants, said Jeffrey Passel, a demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center. “Their presence in the electorate will increase over time.”

Nearly 92% of the nation’s population growth over the past decade—25.1 million people—came from minorities of all types, including those who identified themselves as mixed race. Nine million people, or 3%, reported more than one race.

In addition to the 16.3% of people who identified as Hispanic or Latino of any race, 63.7% identified as white; 12.2% identified as black; 4.7% as Asian; and 0.7% as American Indians or Alaska Natives. Other races made up the rest.

States in the South and West posted the sharpest growth rates during the decade, with the population of the West surpassing the Midwest for the first time. More than half the U.S. lived in the 10 most populous states, with about a quarter in the three largest states: California, Texas and New York.

The Census Bureau said the population continued shifting toward the South and West, which together accounted for 84% of the decade’s population growth. The nation’s center of population—the balancing point if all 308 million people weighed the same—moved about 25 miles south to just outside Plato, Mo. In 1790, the year of the first Census, the population center was near Chestertown, Md.

The Census data also showed blacks moving out of big cities in the North and into suburbs and the South, marking more black-white integration.

Two cities, New York and Washington, saw their black populations decline. The District of Columbia notched its first decennial population increase since the 1940s, rising to 601,700 despite an 11% drop in blacks. But the non-Hispanic black population in the nation’s capital was just 50% in 2010, as the non-Hispanic white population jumped almost a third to 209,000.

Orange County Register/Associated PressWorkers in California, a state where Latino population growth has risen.

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New York City’s population inched up 2.1%, bringing the 2010 total to 8.2 million. The city’s non-Hispanic black population declined for the first time since 1860, according to William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. While not substantial, the 5.1 % decline is in line with other urban centers that posted declines, Mr. Frey said. New York City’s growth was fueled by increases in its Asian and Hispanic populations. The city’s white population fell slightly, by 2.8%.

“We’ve moved to an African-American population that, at least for a lot of young people, is becoming much more mainstream than 20 years ago in terms of where they want to live and how they see themselves in American life,” Mr. Frey said. “It’s affecting the way suburbs are growing. It’s changing the way the South is growing.”

The increasing racial diversity among U.S. children underscored a shift that is likely to make whites a minority in the early 2040s. Of the entire Hispanic population, children make up about one-third, compared with one-fifth among whites.

The total number of people under age 18 rose by nearly two million over the decade. But the number of white children fell, while the number of Hispanic children rose sharply. During the decade, Texas alone added 979,000 individuals under age 18, of which 931,000 were Hispanic.

“That can tell you as much as anything how important Hispanics are for the future of children in the United States,” Mr. Frey said. Of the states gaining people, “they owe it to Hispanics.”

(source) Wall Street Journal>> read more>>

Hispanic population exceeds 50 million, firmly nation’s No. 2 group

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By Michael Martinez and David Ariosto, CNN
March 24, 2011 4:08 p.m. EDT

(CNN) — The growing Hispanic population in the United States has reached a new milestone, topping 50 million, or 16.3% of the nation, officially solidifying its position as the country’s second-largest group, U.S. Census Bureau officials said Thursday.

“Overall, we’ve learned that our nation’s population has become more racially and ethnically diverse over the past 10 years,” said Nicholas A. Jones, chief of the bureau’s racial statistics branch.

Several trends emerged from the 2010 census, according to Robert M. Groves, director of the Census Bureau, and Marc J. Perry, chief of the population distribution branch.

The country is growing at a smaller rate. Growth is concentrated in metropolitan areas and in the American West and South. The fastest-growing communities are suburbs such as Lincoln, California, outside Sacramento. And standard-bearer cities such as Boston, Baltimore and Milwaukee are no longer in the top 20 for population, replaced by upstarts such as El Paso, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina, the officials said.

The most significant trend, however, appeared to be the nation’s new count of 50.5 million Latinos, whose massive expansion accounted for more than half of the nation’s overall growth of 27.3 million people, to a new overall U.S. population of 308.7 million, officials said.

The Hispanic population grew 43% since 2000, officials said.

In stark contrast, all other populations together grew by only about 5%, officials said. The nation as a whole expanded by 9.7%.

Bureau officials declined Thursday to say how much illegal immigration has spurred growth among Latinos and other minorities, saying the sources of the growth are still being studied.

“Those are actually very excellent questions,” said Roberto Ramirez, chief of the bureau’s ethnicity and ancestry branch. “We are actually in the middle of the process of investigating that.”

D’Vera Cohn, a senior writer at the Pew Research Center in Washington, said the birth rate, rather than immigration, is the primary driving factor in the Latino boom.

Hispanics now account for nearly one-quarter of children under the age of 18, Cohn said.

“Hispanics are a younger population, and there are just more women of a child-bearing age,” she said.

Although immigration remains a major contributor to Hispanic population growth, the recent recession and high employment rates may have prompted a tapering off in the rate of foreign-born nationals seeking U.S. residence, analysts said.

Intensified border patrols may have reduced illegal immigration, but those measures “remain at the margins,” said William Frey, a demographer at The Brookings Institution.

He added that America’s overall undocumented immigrant population — estimated at between 10 million and 11 million people — may have even declined in recent years, though accurate numbers are difficult to acquire.

While the white population increased by 2.2 million to 196.8 million, its share of the total population dropped to 64% from 69%, officials said.

The Asian population also grew 43%, increasing from 10.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2010, officials said. Asians now account for about 5% of the nation’s population.

The African-American population, which grew by about 4.3 million, is now about 40 million, or 12.6% of the population, a slight increase over 12.3% in 2000, officials said.

Persons reporting “some other race” grew by 3.7 million, to 19 million, or 5.5% of the nation, figures show.

The vast majority of Americans, 97%, reported only one race, with whites as the largest group, accounting for about seven out of 10 Americans.

The remaining 3% of the population reported multiple races, and almost all of them listed exactly two races. White and black was the leading biracial combination, figures show.

“The face of the country is changing,” said Jeffrey Passel, demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center.

Demographic data had already been released for all states except New York and Maine and for the District of Columbia.

In fast-growing states where whites and blacks dominated past growth, Hispanics are now the greatest growth engine, Frey said.

The significance of the numbers to the United States is more than just an increase of an ethnicity. Research shows that along with the changing demographics, the country has become more diverse in other ways, Passel said. For instance, there is a substantial mixing of the American population through interracial marriage, he said.

Another change is the concentration of the growing populations.

Previously, the Hispanic population was concentrated in eight or nine states; it is now spread throughout the country, Passel said.

Meanwhile, most of the data released so far show decreases in the population of white children, Frey said.

Minorities will have a greater presence among future generations, he said. For example, in Nevada, 61% of children are minorities, compared with 41% of adults.

In border states like Texas, demographers say, Hispanic populations are expected to surpass non-Hispanic populations within the next decade.

“Without question, we are becoming a Hispanic state,” said Texas state demographer Lloyd Potter.

“I live in San Antonio, and there you see Spanish advertisements, television shows and newspapers everywhere,” he said.

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