(Bloomberg) -- Two categories of people have the least wealth in the US, according to an analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Black and Hispanic women who have never married.

The research focused on the 23% of adults who have never been married, which strips out any outside sources of wealth that could come from being divorced or widowed, for instance. That population has significantly less wealth than married couples, according to St. Louis Fed research.

And in that group, a Black woman held just 8 cents for every dollar in median wealth owned by a White man in 2022, the study found. That comes to just $3,300 in wealth. Never-married mothers with minor children, regardless of their race, also had extremely low levels of wealth, with a median of $3,900. 

The wealth gap for never-married people overall was the smallest in data started in 1989. But with women owning 68 cents for every $1 men held, the difference remained wide — and much wider than the gender income gap, which stood at 90 cents for the group, based on an analysis of the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances data.

The data highlight racial disparities among women as well. Never-married White women had a median $31,000 in wealth, almost ten times the amount owned by their Black counterparts. Median wealth for never-married White men stood at $40,000.

Overall, the research found that recent gains in housing prices have helped women’s wealth grow, but only for those who own real estate. Meanwhile, the wealth of never-married men rose mostly because they had less debt in 2022 than in 2019.

Not being able to accumulate wealth overtime, even while earning equal wages, has vast consequences over a lifetime, including challenges to financially secure retirement.

“It’s hard to answer the gender wealth gap question with just one statistic,” said Ana Hernández Kent, senior researcher with the Institute for Economic Equity at the St. Louis Fed, in a blog post. But, “never-married Black women, never-married Hispanic women and never-married mothers of any race or ethnicity were the most financially vulnerable.”

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