‘The Color of Wealth in Miami’ Is Black and White
Wealth in Miami: How Do Diverse Communities Fare?
The revelations of the Miami report show that laws and policies impact the success of newer immigrants to America in a racialized manner that is parallel to the racial binary the country set from its beginning. The authors look at the asset and wealth positions of the diverse populations in Miami, white residents, black residents, Caribbean blacks residents, Cubans, Puerto Ricans (U.S. citizens by birth), other Latinos, and South Americans. They further disaggregate these ethnic groups into white, black, and other racial categories, common in the U.S. context.
The data dis-aggregated by race within each ethnic category or national group reveal that “blatinos” (black Latinos and Caribbeans) tend to fare worse than their “whitino” (white Latinos and Caribbeans) counterparts. The findings bring to bear the racial dichotomy so prevalent in the
historical context of the United States. Each subgroup shows racialization in the aspects of their financial life covered in the study. Racial assignation further undermines the opportunities that could help newer Americans get a footing in their financial and wealth position. Indeed, the data tell the story of how different policies shape people’s ability to succeed in the U.S. economy.
Concerning median wealth, the U.S. white population remains squarely on top above everyone else by a large margin. They hold total wealth, liquid wealth, have the highest proportion of people with liquid assets, are banked (with savings and checking accounts), have stock ownership, and IRA or private annuity ownership at a higher level than all other groups. They have almost five times as much total wealth as Cubans, who are the most successful of all Americans of immigrant descent and immigrant subgroups in Miami. When compared to the black population, whites have 29 times as much total wealth and 89 times as much total wealth as South Americans. Puerto Ricans are last in a wealth grave of negative equity.