Society

Sanders: African Americans Lost Half Their Wealth Due To Wall Street Collapse

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Sen. Bernie SandersSen. Bernie Sanders

During the Feb. 11 Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said the African-American and Latino communities were especially impacted by the Wall Street financial crisis that began in 2007.

"Turns out that the African-American community and Latino community were hit especially hard," Sanders said at the debate in response to a question on race relations, Politifact reports. "As I understand it, the African-American community lost half of their wealth as a result of the Wall Street collapse."

Is Sanders correct?

According to data from a 2013 National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) commissioned report and the Pew Research Center, Sanders' claim appears to be factual.

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“African Americans have lost over half of their wealth since the beginning of the recession through falling homeownership rates and loss of jobs,” the NAREB report states.

“Since 2007, nearly 8 percent of African Americans and Latinos have lost their homes to foreclosure compared to 4.5 percent of non-Hispanic whites at similar income levels,” the report continues. “The disparity ratio shows that African Americans are more than 70 percent more likely to have been foreclosed upon than non-Hispanic whites.”

The Pew Research Center noted in a 2011 report that the housing market crisis and the recession that followed “took a far greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites."

A 2014 center report found that black household income decreased by 43 percent between 2007 and 2013.

From 2005 to 2009, Hispanic household wealth fell by 66 percent, and 53 percent among black households. White households saw a decrease of just 16 percent.

Politifact pulled Census Bureau data to corroborate the findings. The data said black median net worth decreased 61 percent from 2005 to 2009, while whites lost 21 percent of their wealth.

According to all of the data, Sanders' claim that African-Americans lost half their wealth because of the Wall Street collapse stands true.

Sources: Politifact, Pew Research Center (2)National Low Income Housing Coalition / Photo Source: Phil Roeder/Flickr

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