Wealth Inequality Among Asian Americans Greater Than Among Whites

Source: Christian E. Weller and Jeffrey Thompson, Center for American Progress, December 20, 2016

From the overview:
….One particularly understudied aspect of wealth inequality is the distribution of wealth between and among whites and Asian Americans, the fastest growing racial group in the United States. In 2013, the last year for which complete data are available, Asian Americans represented a little more than 5 percent of the nation’s population and have grown faster than any other population group between 2000 and 2013. Compared with other ethnic groups, Asian Americans tend to have higher incomes than other communities of color. These higher incomes among Asian Americans have occasionally led to the popular view of Asian Americans as economically more advantaged than other groups. This notion, however, ignores the high degree of economic inequality of Asian Americans—inequality that is reflected in the data on wealth. Wealth among Asian Americans is highly concentrated, and many Asian Americans, especially Asian American seniors who need to live off of their savings, live in an economically precarious situation. Consequently, too many Asian Americans are far away from a secure retirement and ill-prepared to weather an emergency.

This report contributes to the growing number of studies of the economic well-being of Asian Americans, showing that wealth inequality among Asian Americans is far greater than the already high wealth inequality among whites. Although many Asian Americans have wealth comparable to that of whites, a large share of Asian Americans have little or no wealth. Focusing only on average or median wealth of Asian Americans can thus be misleading because doing so ignores a large share of Asian Americans who continue to struggle economically…..