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
April is National Financial Capability Month, which presents an important opportunity to focus on the economic challenges facing many U.S. families and on the potential of financial capability programs—such as financial literacy education, counseling, coaching, and planning—to provide possible solutions to Americans’ financial insecurity. Read More
Financial shocks—lost income or expenses that families do not plan for, such as from job loss, illness, injury, death, or a major home or vehicle repair—represent one of the core challenges American families face as they strive to achieve and maintain financial security.1 In 2014, almost 60 percent of U.S. households experienced at least one such shock and over half of them struggled... Read More
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