Despite headlines touting America’s booming economy, the reality is that millions in the U.S. are living in financial uncertainty. According to new research from Prosperity Now (formerly CFED), an alarming number of families don’t have the resources to withstand an economic downturn, which many analysts predict is around the corner.
The 2019 Prosperity Now Scorecard shows that millions of families are either struggling to make ends meet, or are just one emergency away from a financial disaster. Forty percent of American households lack a basic level of savings. According to the Scorecard data, these “liquid asset poor” households don’t even have enough savings to live at the poverty level for three months if their income was interrupted. The data is even worse for people of color with nearly 57% of households of color being liquid asset poor.
For the first time, the 2019 Scorecard includes ranks the states on racial disparities—the gaps in 26 outcome measures between White residents and residents of color—and factors this into a state’s overall performance. Prosperity Now is increasing its focus on racial economic inequality because, as the data illustrates, structural inequality in the United States means that race and ethnicity have an outsized impact on economic well-being. Black, Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander people fare worse across all Scorecard outcomes and issues.
Read Prosperity Now’s press release announcing the Scorecard’s release.