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
Nearly 43 million U.S. households rented their homes in 2016, including about 9 million households that wereformed over the preceding decade, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Demand forrental properties has increased across age and socio-economic groups since 2008. Recent research indicatesthat although some of those increases can be explained by population shifts, a... Read More
There is a growing recognition among Americans that moving up the income ladder in the United States can be challenging: As recently as 2014, only 23 percent of Americans believed that it’s common for someone to start poor, work hard, and become rich, which was down 16 percentage points from just five years earlier. Read More
Child care is essential for many American families, but most parents say they have difficulty finding affordable, high-quality care in their community, with the sentiment cutting across race, income, and educational background. The federal government helps families afford child care through a combination of tax credits and spending programs. Read More