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Wealth Inequality by Age / Wealth Inequality by Race and Ethnicity in the Post-Pandemic Era

In this pair of articles out of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the authors work to understand how net worth has changed for Americans during and coming out of the pandemic. Using several datasets, they chart growth in net worth from 2019 through to the second quarter of 2023 across age as well as race and ethnicity. In Wealth Inequality by Age in the Post‑Pandemic Era, they find that wealth grew most rapidly for 18-39 year-olds, driven mostly by growth in financial assets such as retirement accounts.

Growth in wealth by race and ethnicity is more complicated, as the authors find that while net worth for all racial groups (in Racial and Ethnic Wealth Inequality in the Post‑Pandemic Era), grew in the first year of the pandemic, this growth quickly slowed for Black individuals by late 2022, and has since reversed itself and fallen below 2019 levels of wealth by the third quarter of 2023. These data stand in contrast to Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) data, which suggest that net worth grew for all groups over a similar period. However, the latest SCF data was collected from March through December, which may have masked more rapid shifts evidenced in these datasets.

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