Economic Well-Being for U.S. Households Improves, but Challenges Remain

The Federal Reserve Board released its fifth annual Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households on May 22, based on a survey of more than 12,000 adults. Seventy-four percent of adults reported either doing okay financially or living comfortably in 2017, which is four percentage points higher than in 2016 and twelve percentage points higher than in 2013. Despite this improvement, the Federal Reserve’s survey identified a number of challenges to families’ financial well-being.

Seven out of ten low income renters with annual incomes below $40,000 spent more than 30% of their income on housing. Nine percent of renters who had moved in the previous two years did so because of an eviction or the threat of an eviction.

Forty-one percent of adults reported that they could not cover an unexpected expense of $400 using cash or a credit card they would pay off by the next statement due date, representing a decline from 50% in 2013. Among adults with family incomes below $40,000, 12% were unbanked, meaning they had no checking, savings, or money market account, and 26% were underbanked, meaning they had a bank account but used alternative financial services like check-cashing services, money orders, paycheck advances, or payday loans in 2017.

The report also provides information on employment, education, financial literacy, and retirement.

Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017 is available at:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s