Single white women in their prime working years have a median net worth of $42,600.
Single black women in their prime working years have a median net worth of $5.
That makes for a pretty shocking headline. However, the story leaves out the most elementary controls that would allow an apples-to-apples comparison.
An obvious one is whether they are, in fact, working. A second is how much education they have. I think it likely that a greater proportion of the black women in the large 18-to-64 age group are younger than white women in that age group.
The biggest factor we need to control for, though, is whether these single women are mothers or not. Most white single women do not have children. Most black single women, as best I can figure, do have children. Single women with children are not likely to accumulate any net worth.
White and black women with similar education are likely to start at nearly identical salaries, on average. I don't have comparative wealth figures with the appropriate controls, but it stands to reason that single white and black women with similar education and no kids are likely to accumulate similar net wealth.