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Racial Gap In Assets: $179,000 To $7,000

By ANN MARIE SOMMA, Courant Staff Writer

December 20, 2007

About one family in five in the state doesn't have enough savings to survive for three months, according to a report released Wednesday that measures family assets nationwide.

The report, compiled by Connecticut Voices for Children and the Washington-based Corporation for Enterprise Development, also found that Connecticut has among the worst disparities in assets based on race, income, gender, and homeownership in the nation.

Doug Hall, associate research director for CT Voices, said the report shows that the state's great wealth is not being distributed equitably.

"There are families that are struggling and being left behind, and all too often the disparities are based on race and ethnicity," Hall said.

The gap between whites and minorities is highlighted in the report, which examined 30 states, ranking them on 46 measures of family assets in the areas of financial security, business development, homeownership, health care and education.

Whites in the state are nearly 27 times wealthier than minorities. Whites have assets that exceed $179,000 on average, compared with $7,000 for minorities, according to the report.

Minorities in the state are also less likely to own a home. Homeownership among minorities is at 43.1 percent, compared with 74.5 percent among whites, according to the report.

In the area of health care coverage, the state ranks fourth in the nation in employer-provided health insurance, with 71.4 percent covered. But employer-provided health insurance for workers under 65 has declined by 4.8 percent since 2000. The number of children covered is also down 6.1 percent.

"Connecticut's image is of a state of great prosperity, yet a closer look shows that wealth, security, and opportunity are not broadly shared," said Joachim Hero of CT Voices. Hero, a research associate at the agency, co-authored the report.

CT Voices will make recommendations to lawmakers when the General Assembly convenes next year to help families build and protect family assets.

Recommendations include public investment in affordable housing, greater access to health insurance, and public and private financial assistance for small-business development.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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