Hispanics, Overrepresented in US Poverty
Hispanics made some financial gains in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels, but disparities remain among White and Hispanic families, specifically in incomes. AFP

Racial disparities in financial well-being among families in the United States were once again highlighted in the latest Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve, with Hispanics found to have five times less wealth than white families in 2022.

Median wealth data in the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) revealed that the "typical Hispanic family similarly held only about 20 percent (about $61,600) of the wealth of the typical white family ($285,000)" that year.

Median Wealth in US - 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances
Figure displays median (top panel) and mean (bottom panel) wealth by race and ethnicity, expressed in thousands of 2022 dollars. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 2023

Economists with the Federal Reserve noted that "Black and Hispanic families' real wages stagnated" last year even as the home, stock, and business ownership of non-white families increased relatively compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Aside from the real wage disparity, the survey also found that "non-white families in particular have become more uncertain and pessimistic about their financial futures."

Another notable finding in the survey is that while homeownership rates increased among non-white families between 2019 and 2022, only half of Hispanic families actually owned their homes.

In terms of families' incomes, white families saw gains in median income improvement, while the typical Hispanic family's income fell by 1.1%.

On the other hand, Hispanic homes saw their mean incomes increase by 5.5% from 2019.

Average incomes generally rose in the U.S. last year, but more so for whites. Real wages and salaries "disproportionately grew" for whites and other families, as opposed to the unchanged numbers for Blacks and Hispanics.

Real Wages - 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances
Figure displays the contributions to growth in average income between 2019 and 2022 from various income sources by race and ethnicity. Bars above zero indicate the income source grew, while bars below zero show the income source shrank. Average total income growth for each race and ethnicity is denoted by the dots. SSI is Supplemental Security Income. Contributions bars appear in the order listed in the legend except for the following: Retirement income appears below zero and other sources appears at the top for Black families. Investment income, retirement income, and other sources appear in this order descending from zero for other race families. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 2023

Most of the wealth growth among Hispanics in 2022 were concentrated in housing, but "real average liquid wealth," which includes savings and checking accounts, did not see much improvement.

Federal Reserve economists also noted how "the step-up in uncertainty" regarding their income for 2023 among Black and Hispanic families "was especially strong." Around 10.9% more of Hispanic families expressed uncertainty about their incomes.

Overall, the survey found that even as most families around the U.S. were able to cope with their finances post-pandemic, non-white families "have grown more pessimistic and uncertain about the current and future state of both their own finances and the economy."

Wage Uncertainty - 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances
Figure displays the share of families that said they did not have a good idea of family income next year, by race and ethnicity. Non-White families were more likely than White families to be uncertain about future income. While families of all races and ethnicities were more uncertain about future income in 2022 than in 2019, the increase in uncertainty was larger for non-White families. The key identifies series in order from left to right. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 2023

Similar findings were found in a report released by the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in February, wherein Hispanic adults were found to have been making financial gains in 2021 compared to their financial situation in 2009, but the wealth gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic households remain wide.

The FINRA report also found that there were disparities within Hispanic subpopulations, as younger adults tended to have lower financial capability than 55-and-older Hispanics. Hispanic adults without a four-year college degree also reported lower financial capacities than their college-educated counterparts.

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