CFPB Report Analyzes Financial Well-Being of Americans

For the most part, consumers across the country tend to be in the same financial situation, although there are wide variances across the country among those who might be in the worst financial shape, according to a report that was released yesterday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which assess the “Financial Well-Being” of America on a state-by-state basis.

In assessing an individual’s financial well-being, the CFPB conducted a survey that asked 10 questions, such as “I am behind with my finances” and “I could handle a major unexpected expense.” Those with very low scores were experiences with debt collectors and finding it hard to make ends meet. Those with high scores have health insurance and at least $10,000 in savings.

The average score for people across the country is 52, according to the CFPB. On a state-by-state basis, all states ranged between 50 and 54, with only Louisiana and Mississippi being designated as “statistically lower” and California and Hawaii being designated as “statistically higher” than the average.

Where the CFPB noticed the most issues, is in the amount of individuals that have “low” or “very low” scores on a state-by-state basis. For example, only 12% of Californians had a financial well-being score that was low or very low, while 25% of Mississippians had scores in those two categories.

In many states, the amount of people with low or very low financial well-being scores was higher than the number of people who earned more than the federal poverty limit, which suggests that even among people who are not considered to be in poverty, they are still struggling financially. In Delaware, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia, and Vermont, the number of people with low or very-low scores was twice as high as the number of people living below the poverty line.

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