Thursday, March 11, 2010

Seriously: Study finds median wealth for single black women at $5!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's an excellent breakdown at Jezebel about the median wealth of women of color in comparison to white women and men of all ethnic groups. There's graphs, pie charts and tables to help illustrate this, but the main take-away is that wealth is your net worth minus all debts and the average single Black woman's "wealth" is $5, this is not a typo.

Married couples of all racial groups fared better than their single counterparts. See chart below for comparison:

Marriage appears to be a money-maker for all racial groups. Wealth is often passed down from generation to generation, so the lack of social justice and fair wages that most deeply impacted racial groups in the past (although, hey, check out the income chart in the story and you'll find wage discrimination is alive and kicking today) have repercussions for their descendants and confer privileges for others (read: white folks). At the same time, I think that this also speaks to the burdens of single-mothers carry (which impacts women of all colors), but is a proportionally more heavy burden for Black women.

Now, I can already anticipate all the "oh, dear" shaming articles and news segments that this will generate and I can already predict what they'll say: Women of Color need more Financial Literacy and Education. Like, somehow WofC are really all at fault for this predicament because they use their credit cards for sort-term purchases, like food. I love that particular piece of advice that shows up in every pamphlet on financial literacy--don't use credit cards for disposable or short-term purchases like food/eating out. If you are using your credit card at the grocery store, its probably because you need food to live and using credit is the only way you can at that particular moment. Yes, financial literacy is important, but a living wage, universal health care and affordable housing are more important and would do much more to increase the personal wealth of every American except for the top 1% who own 95% of the wealth currently.

Anyway, check out the article in full and/or leave a comment.

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