Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Hispanic Wealth in the United States

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

Hispanic Wealth in the United States

Article excerpt

Humans tend to believe that their nation Is the best in the world. This nation of Immigrants Is not Immune to that passion. After all, many came here seeking a better life and found It.

We created the American Dream whereby individuals could reap the benefits of our society through hard work, pluck and determination. And truth be told it has worked miracles for many individuals, millions of them. But not all-and that should not be forgotten by those who "made it."

A wealthy nation

Globally the United States Is considered a wealthy nation and envied by some. At one level the numbers support that assumption. Americans' average wealth tops $301,000 per adult Given that reality the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report ranked the United States fourth in the world. If the figure seems high to you, part of the reason is that we have many high net worth individuals. That influences the averages. Not everyone Is so wealthy.

Few of us live in a stratified multimillion dollar atmosphere. America has long been a middle-class country. So how Is the nation's middle class doing? Not as well as a few years ago. It's a different reality,

Americans' median wealth has gone down in the past decade from the low $50,000 range to approximately $44,900 per adult. Median it should be remembered means half have more, half have less. In that category, we rank in 19th place, below Japan, Canada, Australia and much of Western Europe!

"Americans tend to think of their middle class as being the richest in the world, but it turns out, in terms of wealth, they rank fairly low among major industrialized countries," according to Edward Wolff, a New York University economics professor who studies net worth.

Why is there such a big difference between the two measures?

Simply because super rich Americans skew average wealth data upward. The U.S. has 42 percent of the world's millionaires and 49 percent of those with more than $50 million in assets.

This schism also secures us the top rank in one net worth measure - wealth inequality.

There's one main reason why the average Spaniard or Italian has more to his name than the typical American: real estate. Changes in one's home prices have a big effect on the wealth of those in the middle.

Home ownership rates are higher in many European countries than in the U.S. Thus the average European has more assets to his/her name than their American counterpart. Additionally, since It's far easier for Americans to borrow money, their net worth is easily diminished, according to Professor Jim Davies, a co-author of the Credit Suisse report.

Housing collapse

Middleclass Americans were seriously hurt by the housing collapse at the end of the last decade. The median wealth of families was $77,300 in 2010, a nearly 40 percent drop from 2007, as chronicled In Federal Reserve statistics.

Middle-class Australians, by comparison, lead the pack. That country's residents have the highest median net worth, a surprising $219,500. Australia also has low wealth Inequality.

This is in part because Australians have a strong tradition of home ownership.

Secondly, mandatory retirement savings provide a solid bulwark. Australians must save more than 9 percent of their income for their retirement years. As a people they also carry relatively low credit card and student loan debt. http://money. cnn. com/2014/04/25/hews/economy/middle-class-paycheck/?iid=EL

Americans, meanwhile, are having trouble rebuilding wealth because wages have stagnated for more than a decade. Median household income was $51,017 in 2012, compared to $56,080 In 1999, according to Census Bureau statistics.

Most Americans know they are falling behind.

There are many reasons why middleclass Incomes are suffering, including the shift of jobs overseas, the increasing use of technology in the workplace replacing humans and the decline of unions' power. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.