WASHINGTON—Even as the national economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, most U.S. families remain financially fragile, according to a new analysis by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Pew’s report, The Precarious State of Family Balance Sheets, draws from multiple nationally representative data sources to develop a clear picture of household financial security in the United States.
“Our analysis finds that many American families, even those with relatively high incomes, are walking a financial tightrope,” said Erin Currier, director of Pew’s financial security and mobility project. “Many have little if any cushion to absorb an unexpected financial setback. It’s a precarious state that threatens not just financial security, but upward mobility.”
The findings in the report reveal widespread financial fragility:
The report concludes by noting that policymakers should focus on policies and programs that support asset accumulation, which can help meaningfully improve American families’ financial standing.
Sources for the data in the report include the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, the University of Michigan’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, and the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances.
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The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at www.pewtrusts.org.