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What is the Wealth Gap?

Find out what we can do to close it–together.

Hive Wealth Blog Image | What is the Wealth Gap? | People standing on oversized gold coins

The financial landscape has changed drastically over the years. So many factors shape the current economy—inflation, income inequality, and the lasting effects of a global pandemic, to name a few—all of which contribute to the ever-widening wealth gap.

So what is the wealth gap? The wealth gap is the unequal distribution of income and assets across a population. Essentially, the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. As of Q2 2022, the wealthiest 10% of US residents own 68.9% of the nation’s household wealth, leaving a meager 31.1% scattered across 90% of the population.

There isn’t a simple way to approach this wildly disparate allocation—but the first step is learning about its roots and understanding why the disparity continues to grow. The next step? Find out what we can do to close the wealth gap—together.

Generational Wealth Gap

If you want to understand the wealth gap, it pays to take a closer look at generational wealth. Generational wealth includes the assets and opportunities that are passed down from one generation to the next in the form of gifts or inheritance—it includes cash, property, college funds, trusts, and even family businesses.

Those with generational wealth have significant financial advantages over those who are bootstrapping their lives. And it’s not just money that helps those with generational wealth get ahead—it’s the job opportunities, social networking, and exposure to other people with money that affords them an easier path in life. What would your life be like if you experienced freedom from educational or medical debt, introductions to the successful moguls of society—and a down payment for your dream home?

Without a healthy nest egg or family money, it’s easy to get stuck in educational or medical debt and settle for lower-paying careers. When you’re working hard and still not saving or paying down debts, it can feel impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel—let alone build your own generational wealth.

Racial Wealth Gap

The generational wealth gap and the racial wealth gap are intimately connected—they’re rooted in the same institutional racism and policies that date back centuries. The Homestead Act is just one example of the lasting ripples of slavery and poorly designed policies that still affect Black people in the US. Signed the same day President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, it was meant to give Black Americans opportunities to own land. While it did allow a lucky few to start homesteading (between 4,000 and 5,500 out of 28,000), most ex-slaves didn’t have the funds or resources to migrate or work large amounts of land—let alone purchase it. While descendants of homesteaders reap the benefits of this act today, the majority of those it was meant to help have gone without assistance or reparations for generations.

Missed opportunities to build generational wealth and a lack of significant reparations over the past century are just a drop in the ocean of economic disparities that contribute to the ever-widening racial wealth gap. You can’t talk about the wealth gap without mentioning income inequality—equal pay for equal work continues to be one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. Black and Hispanic or Latino households earn about half the income and hold just 15-20% of the net worth of white households on average. Without adequate cash flow, competing in the housing market, stock exchange, and business world can feel impossible.

Gender Wealth Gap

It would be over a century into the US’s founding before married women could legally control their assets. Even then, we had a long way to go. Banks often required women to have a cosigner on credit cards when they first debuted in 1958—at least until the Fair Credit Opportunity Act in 1974.

Women still face blatant inequalities—gender pay gaps and unequal career progression trajectories, especially in higher-paying roles, are widely documented. In professional and technical roles, men make 31% more on average than women; in senior expert and leadership roles, it’s 38% more.

That’s Where Hive Wealth Comes In

Closing the wealth gap isn’t a problem that can be solved overnight. We can only close the gap together—and it starts with you.

Download Hive Wealth to start building your wealth and leave a legacy for future generations. Here’s how it works:

  • Benchmark yourself against your peers.

Yesterday’s financial advice might not apply in today’s economy—so ask your peer group for their strategies.

  • Don’t guess—calculate your net worth and track your progress.

No other app has a comprehensive net worth calculator. Submit your information once, then keep track of your progress for a lifetime.

  • Grow your wealth with the latest tips and tricks, plus need-to-know information.

Hive Wealth is regularly updated with helpful tips and pertinent information about stocks, bonds, and anything else you need to know about growing your wealth.

Download Hive Wealth for free at the App Store—and help us close the wealth gap.


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