Thriving Residents, Thriving Cities

The economic health of cities and communities depends on residents’ financial health and stability. When residents thrive, cities are better able to thrive. And when residents struggle to make ends meet, cities can too. By improving family financial health, cities can bolster their own financial security and ensure that all residents have the chance to succeed.

The economic health of cities and communities depends on the financial health and stability of their residents. The key: nonretirement savings. Families with a savings cushion as little as $250 to $749 are less likely to be evicted, miss a housing or utility payment, or receive public benefits after a job loss, health issue, or large income drop. Higher savings levels are associated with even lower hardship and benefit receipt. Savings are at least as important as income: low-income families with savings of $2,000 to $4,999 are more financially resilient than middle-income families without savings.

Thriving Residents, Thriving Cities: Family Financial Security Matters for Cities

Detroit has weathered several economic shocks over recent decades, creating a complicated landscape for the financial health of its residents and the city as a whole. The city’s economy depends upon financially healthy residents. This brief uses credit bureau data to examine Detroit residents’ financial health through credit scores, debt profiles, and delinquencies. Sixty-six percent of Detroit residents have a subprime or no credit score, only 19 percent have healthy credit, and 68 percent have delinquent debt. City-level programs and policies could be implemented to help Detroit’s residents improve their financial health.

The Financial Health of Detroit Residents