The economic security of the African-American and Latino middle class is endangered by insufficient assets and high housing costs, according to a new study by Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University. Entitled "Economic (In)Security: The Experience of the African American and Latino Middle Classes," the report found that the "vast majority" of middle class African-American and Latino families "are either borderline or at high risk of falling out of the middle class altogether." Only 26% of African-American and 37% of Latino middle-class families spend less than 20% of their after-tax income on housing, compared with a national average of 40%, the study says. Jennifer Wheary, a Demos senior fellow and co-author of the report, said the mortgage crisis is having a disproportionate impact on African-American and Latino middle-class families because they are far more dependent than whites on homeownership to facilitate asset accumulation and far more likely to have been caught in the subprime loan trap.

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