U.S. Millionaires: a Racial Breakdown

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This video examines wealth through the prism of race.

It compares the share of the nation’s African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American and white populations who have net worth exceeding $1 million; net worth equals financial and other assets minus mortgages and other debts. If the fact that there is a racial divide isn’t surprising, the magnitude of it might be.

Other factors also have an enormous influence over who gets rich, and understanding this becomes increasingly important amid rising inequality. The biggest determinant of wealth is whether our parents are rich, as recent research has shown. Age and education are also crucial. That’s because older people have more time to save and accumulate wealth, and a college education typically leads to jobs that can add an estimated $1 million to the total amount that a worker earns over a lifetime.

But even when the data are sliced by age and education, there are deep economic inequities in our diverse society, as this video produced by Bloomberg Business shows.

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It’s mostly about personal choices. I’m African American, one of five kids, our parents were middle-class – only one of us “kids” is a millionaire, the other four are not. That’s just the way life is. Personal choices.


I think Brian is correct. It’s told in the old fable of the ants and the grasshopper.

david e fagan

Personal choices, a lot of help, and a lot of luck!!!


(Brian again) Much of this is cultural and will be hard to change. As an example, a few years back I was talking to an in-law about what she was getting ready to do with her 401(k). Her response to me was, “Brian, you sound just like a white person.” As I commented above, most (not all) of this wealth inequity is due to poor personal choices. We will never solve this situation until we get people to understand that they are accountable for the outcome of their own choices.

Skrotpriser pâ biler

I think Brian is correct. Thanks for sharing.


At the start of the article I was thinking…”age, education and family” – not race, as being the primary determining factors. Our family culture impacts us greatly as to how we spend our resources, what we aspire to, and what becomes available via family or network connections. Brian was brave to post his family insight. He gave us insight into family culture. The article focuses on race. I think family culture plays a significant role, yet we read almost nothing about its impact on financial outcomes.

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