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 Pew Charitable Trusts and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, in partnership with the Senate Economic Mobility Caucus, hosted an event on July 24 to explore how technology and the movement toward a knowledge- and service-based economy are affecting employment. The discussion, which was moderated by Kellogg’s Jonathan Njus, highlighted a diverse set of perspectives—examining... Read More
The Census Bureau released the latest edition of its annual report “Income and Poverty in the United States” on Sept. 12, and the findings indicate economic improvements for the typical American family in 2016. According to the study, median real household income reached $59,039, up 3.2 percent from 2015, the second consecutive annual increase. Also for the second year in a row, the... Read More
The United States provides financial support to low-income families through more than a dozen programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). This brief examines the findings of three studies that looked at the effect of asset limits on family finances and state and program costs and... Read More