urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

The Changing Wealth of Americans

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The Great Recession hit family finances from many directions, from lost or lower wages to falling house values and retirement account balances. Even before this financial crisis, however, young Americans were accumulating less wealth than their parents, and people of color were less wealthy than whites.

Each year, the federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars to support long-term asset development. But these funds do not seem to be reaching the people who need help the most. Reducing wealth inequality creates better opportunities for all Americans.

 
 

Blog Posts


MetroTrends
Concern About Student Loan Debt Widespread

by Signe-Mary McKernan and Caroline Ratcliffe


MetroTrends
Less than Equal: Wealth Building among White, Black and Hispanic Families

by Signe-Mary McKernan and Caroline Ratcliffe


The Government We Deserve
Wealth Accumulation by Race Over the Life Cycle

by Eugene Steuerle


MetroTrends
Wealth Gaps are Large and Growing, But a Research-Driven Literacy Strategy Can Help

By Caroline Ratcliffe


MetroTrends
Requiring 20 percent Down Payments Could Exacerbate Wealth Inequality

by Signe-Mary McKernan


The Government We Deserve
Any Way You Look at It, Young Americans Have Less Wealth than Their Parents

by Eugene Steuerle


MetroTrends
The Story Behind the Numbers: Why people in their 30s have less wealth than their parents' generation

by Caroline Ratcliffe, Eugene Steuerle, Signe-Mary McKernan and Sisi Zhang


The Atlantic Cities
3 Reasons 30-Somethings Are Accumulating Less Wealth Than Their Parents

by Signe-Mary McKernan and Caroline Ratcliffe


MetroTrends
Lost Generations? Wealth Building Among the Young

by Caroline Ratcliffe and Signe-Mary McKernan


The Atlantic Cities
How the Young Get Left Out of the Wealth Puzzle

by Signe-Mary McKernan and Caroline Ratcliffe


The Government We Deserve
Lost Generations? Wealth Building Among the Young

by Gene Steuerle

New Research

Impact of the Great Recession and Beyond: Disparities in Wealth Building by Generation and Race

by Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, C. Eugene Steuerle, Sisi Zhang


Forever in Your Debt: Who Has Student Loan Debt, and Who's Worried?

by Caroline Ratcliffe and Signe-Mary McKernan


Less Than Equal: Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation

by Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, Eugene Steuerle, and Sisi Zhang


Lost Generations? Wealth Building among Young Americans

by Eugene Steuerle, Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, and Sisi Zhang

FAQ

Demystifying the Changing Wealth of Americans Numbers

by Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, Eugene Steuerle, and Sisi Zhang


Related Policy Centers and Programs

Opportunity and Ownership Project

Program on Retirement Policy

Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

Major Media Coverage

The New York Times: Wealth Gap Among Races Widened Since Recession

The Huffington Post: Racial Wealth Gap Exacerbated By Great Recession: Study

NPR: What Do We Do About America's Racial Wealth Gap?

NPR: Black And Latino Wealth Falls Further Behind

Marketplace: Can black-owned franchises help narrow the wealth gap?

Time.com: Car? House? Sorry: Graduates of 2013 Are Each $35,200 in Debt

Washington Post op-ed: Obama’s modest proposal to cap retirement entitlements

New York Times: Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building

Washington Post: How young people are getting poorer, in one chart

The Atlantic: Why Twenty-Somethings Aren't Doomed to Be Poor (but Thirty-Somethings Might Be)

Inc: Wealth and Entrepreneurship: Young Americans Saving Less

Forbes: Gen X And Gen Y Wealth Stagnates

New York Times Magazine: Do Millennials Stand a Chance in the Real World?

Al Jazeera: Narrowing the Wealth Gap

HuffPost Live: Are Millennials Doomed?

The New York Times Economix Blog: Declining Wealth Brings a Rising Retirement Risk

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