Family Assets Count: Boston

Boston Households

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Liquid Asset Poverty
46% Don’t have 3 months of savings to live above poverty level
Asset Poverty
35% Don’t have 3 months of net worth to live above poverty level
16% Don’t have a checking or savings account
23% Have a bank account but still use check cashing or pay day loans

In Boston today 17% of households live in poverty, but far more (46%) are financially vulnerable. These liquid asset poor households do not have enough savings to live at the poverty level for three months if they suffer an income disruption such as losing a job or facing a medical crisis. Communities of color fare even worse: 69% of African American households and 75% of Hispanic households in Boston are liquid asset poor.

Many working families are living in a state of persistent financial insecurity – one emergency away from falling into debt or even losing a home. Of households earning $50,000 to $75,000 annually, 40% are liquid asset poor.

The inability to bounce back from financial pitfalls not only hurts Boston families, it stifles the city’s long-term economic growth.

The findings are from a new data analysis from Family Assets Counts, a project of CFED (the Corporation for Enterprise Development) and the Assets & Opportunity Initiative in partnership with Citi Community Development and the Midas Collaborative. Through cutting edge data, tools, and resources, Family Assets Count leverages the power of cities to improve financial stability for families.

With the support of this data, Mayor Walsh is leading the City of Boston in developing a new Economic Opportunity Agenda to address the continuum of household financial security – from jobs, to building assets, to consumer protection.

The analysis spotlights a range of challenges confronting Boston’s vulnerable families:

Through cutting edge data, tools and resources Family Assets Count leverages the power of cities to improve financial stability for families and advances programs and policies that reduce barriers and encourage families to save and build assets. For more information and data visit

Video: Family Assets Count: Vital Data for Household Financial Security (Courtesy of Citi)


A project of CFED in partnership with Citi Community Development.

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