Why Financial Security and Mobility Matters
For more than two centuries, economic opportunity and upward mobility have formed the foundation of the American Dream, and they remain at the core of our nation's identity. An emerging body of research indicates that savings and assets play an integral role in both a family’s short-term financial health and their ability to move up the economic ladder over time. Pew research published in 2013 found that households that left the bottom of the income ladder had six times more savings than those that did not. As policymakers seek to foster economic opportunity, it’s critical that their decisions be informed by a robust and nonpartisan fact base on the status of family balance sheets, and the importance of family financial capital for achieving the American Dream.
How We Conduct Our Work
The project researches family finances to inform the public and policymakers on ways to improve the financial well-being of all Americans. The initiative seeks to understand the impacts of short-term savings on economic stability for different types of families and the major factors that promote and inhibit financial health and upward mobility.
Research & AnalysisView All
The balance sheets of American households are showing modest improvement, as are people’s attitudes about their financial health. The Census Bureau found that the median household income increased by 5.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, with gains across all income levels. Further, more Americans report feeling financially secure, and fewer say they are unprepared for the unexpected. Read More
In his Feb. 28 address to Congress, President Donald Trump discussed his agenda and priorities for the coming year, which include efforts to boost wages and job opportunities for workers in the United States. As policymakers look forward, this moment presents an ideal opportunity to address the financial concerns that Americans face daily. Read More
Although education continues to be a key driver of financial security, student debt is a substantial liability for many Americans and a growing concern for policymakers at all levels of government. Many borrowers successfully repay their loans and reap the financial benefits of postsecondary education, but a significant share is struggling to meet these obligations: The Consumer Financial... Read More