How are American adults getting by financially?

by Candyd Mendoza15 Nov 2019

Most adults in the United States were moderately financially stable in 2018, but some still struggled to make ends meet.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a report that analyzed the financial well-being of Americans nationwide. The report measured a person’s financial well-being score on a scale of 0 to 100.

Nationwide, the average financial well-being score for Americans ages 18 and older was 52. More than half (55%) of people at this level tend to have automated deposits into a savings or retirement account. Over a third (32%) said they always pay off credit cards in full, while a few (16%) said they sometimes or often experience food insecurity or hardship.

The report also found that older adults (ages 62 and older) are more well-off compared to adults ages 18 to 61. The average financial well-being score for senior adults was 62. This is 13 points higher than the average for younger and middle-age adults in the country.

CFPB defined financial well-being as the state wherein an individual has a sense of control over day-to-day and month-to-month finances; capacity to absorb a financial shock; ability to stay on track to meet financial goals; make financial choices to enjoy life.

The financial well-being scores of younger and middle-aged adults by state ranged from a low 50 to a high 54. Of all the states, only five posted average scores that are significantly different from the average of all other states.

California, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C. were statistically higher than all other states, with averages of 54. Louisiana (51) and Massachusetts (52), on the other hand, were statistically lower than other states.