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
This report finds that three-quarters of Gen Xers—Americans born between 1965 and 1980—have higher family incomes than their parents did at the same ages, but only a third have higher wealth. In part, this is because the typical Gen Xer has six times more debt than their parents did. Read More
On September 18, Travis Plunkett, senior director of Pew’s family economic stability portfolio, delivered testimony in front of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The following is his written comments. Read More
This study demonstrates that women's increased labor force participation and earnings have enabled some families to maintain their places on the economic ladder or, particularly among families at the bottom, to move up. But, as was the case for many women in the previous generation, men's earnings continue to matter most for families' income and economic mobility. Read More