Family Assets Count: District of Columbia

District of Columbia Households

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Liquid Asset Poverty
41% Don’t have 3 months of savings to live above poverty level
Asset Poverty
31% Don’t have 3 months of net worth to live above poverty level
12% Don’t have a checking or savings account
25% Have a bank account but still use check cashing or pay day loans

Income poverty is a way of life for 15% of households in the District of Columbia—a rate twice that of the number of households living in income poverty throughout the D.C. metropolitan region. But far more households (41%) are financially vulnerable. Communities of color fare even worse. 61% of African American households and 57% of Hispanic households are liquid asset poor.

Although many residents in the District earn above poverty wages, these "liquid asset poor" households do not have enough savings to live above the poverty level for just three months if they lose a job, face a medical crisis or suffer another income disruption. This means that one out of every two households in the District live in a state of persistent financial insecurity, one emergency away from falling into debt or even losing a home. The inability to bounce back from financial pitfalls not only hurts local individuals and families, it stifles the long-term economic growth of the District of Columbia.

These findings are part of a new data analysis from Family Assets Count, a project of CFED (the Corporation for Enterprise Development) and the Assets & Opportunity Initiative, in partnership with Citi Community Development, Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB), and United Way of the National Capital Area. The analysis spotlights a range of challenges confronting the District’s vulnerable families:

Families across the District are struggling to stay above water. CAAB and their partners at the United Way of the National Capital Area are promoting policy solutions in the District including:

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


Family Assets Count: Building Financial Security in the District of Columbia (PDF)

Data Snapshot (PDF)

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A project of CFED in partnership with Citi Community Development.

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