Financial Distress among American Families: Evidence from the Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey

Research Report

Financial Distress among American Families: Evidence from the Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey

February 14, 2019

Abstract

Concern is growing among some analysts that recent economic growth in the US has not translated to economic well-being across the board. This study focuses on the share of Americans in financial distress in 2017, a year of relatively low unemployment. We find that a third of moderate-income adults experience financial insecurity in the past 12 months. In addition, one in eight of them say they must turn to high interest rate payday loans, auto title loans, or pawn shops to tide them over.

Cross-Center Initiative

Cross-Center Initiative: 
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