Deeper Insights on Americans’ Financial Well-Being
- A snapshot of the financial health of U.S. adults was needed.
- Data was collected from more than 6,000 consumers nationwide.
- The survey dataset is publicly available to encourage more research.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) works to help consumers enhance their financial well-being, a holistic metric that goes beyond income and credit score to capture individuals’ perceptions of their financial security and ability to make financial choices. In addition, CFPB wanted to take the first step in understanding what factors contribute to financial well-being by looking descriptively at how financial well-being differs for different population subgroups.
Abt and our partners worked with the CFPB to collect information on a wide range of personal, situational and financial indicators from more than 6,000 consumers nationwide. Among the data collected were the 10 questions used to calculate CFPB’s financial well-being score, which measures how individuals feel about their financial security and freedom of choice, the core elements of financial well-being, according to CFPB’s earlier consumer research.
Our study found the financial well-being of adults varies widely. Disparities were greatest among individuals with high and low levels of liquid savings. A host of financial attitudes, behaviors and skills were positively associated with financial well-being, while financial experiences such as being denied credit are negatively correlated. Evidence suggests a number of factors likely shape financial well-being. The survey data-set is publicly available to promote and advance the understanding of financial well-being through further research.