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For more on the Racial Wealth Audit see IASP’s 2014 paper, In this report, we define the racial wealth gap as the absolute difference in wealth holdings between the median household among populations grouped by race or ethnicity. Using the SIPP, we estimate that the median white household had 1,146 in wealth holdings in 2011, compared to ,113 for the median Black household and ,348 for the median Latino household.In relative terms, Black households hold only 6 percent of the wealth owned by white households, which amounts to a total wealth gap of 4,033, and Latino households hold only 8 percent of the wealth owned by white households, a wealth gap of 2,798 (see Figure 1).
The Racial Wealth Audit is designed to fill the void in our understanding of the factors contributing to the racial wealth gap and clarify our ability to reduce the gap through policy.
This paper pioneers a new tool, the Racial Wealth Audit TM, and uses it to evaluate the impact of housing, education, and labor markets on the wealth gap between white, Black, and Latino households and assesses how far policies that equalize outcomes in these areas could go toward reducing the gap.
Drawing on data from the nationally representative Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) collected in 2011, the analysis tests how current racial disparities in wealth would be projected to change if key contributing factors to the racial wealth gap were equalized.
Finally, the Audit provides insight into the impact of policies on the racial wealth gap within a discrete time period, such as 1 year or 5 years ahead.
The Racial Wealth Audit is designed to fill the void in our understanding of the racial wealth gap and enhance our ability to reduce the gap through policy.