U.S. Financial Health Pulse

A rigorous, regularly refreshed snapshot of the financial health of U.S adults.

Thanks to recent research, our understanding of the financial lives of Americans is clearer than ever before.

We now know that more than half of the country is struggling financially. More than four in ten Americans would be unable to cover a $400 expense without borrowing or selling a possession.

Figures like these provide rich insights into the financial lives of Americans and shed light on how financial service providers can help consumers spend wisely, build savings, manage debt, and plan for the future.

However, until now, we have not had a systematic, regularly refreshed source of data to understand and track improvements in the financial lives of Americans.

For that reason, CFSI is launching the U.S. Financial Health Pulse – a groundbreaking research study designed to provide an ongoing snapshot of the financial lives of Americans. Such data will provide stakeholders across the financial health ecosystem with benchmarks to track their impact on the financial health of Americans over time. The Pulse will also consider financial health alongside other macroeconomic indicators such as wages, employment, healthcare, and education to understand how other sectors impact the financial lives of consumers.

How It Works

The Pulse will go beyond previous consumer studies by analyzing customer-level transactional data alongside survey data to paint a rich portrait of the financial lives of Americans. CFSI is partnering with the University of Southern California Dornsife College’s Center for Economic and Social Research to field the study and collect transactional data from their online panel, the Understanding America Study (UAS).

What’s Next

The first insights from the U.S. Financial Health Pulse will be available in late 2018, followed by periodic data releases to provide stakeholders with actionable insights to improve the financial lives of their customers and communities. Data sets from the study will be made available to academics and researchers looking to explore new avenues of financial health research.

Interested in learning more? Contact Thea Garon (tgaron@cfsinnovation.org) and subscribe to CFSI’s newsletter for project updates.

The U.S. Financial Health Financial Health Pulse is made possible through a founding partnership with the Omidyar Network. Additional support is provided by MetLife Foundation, founding sponsor of CFSI’s financial health work, and AARP. The AARP Foundation, which works to increase economic opportunity and social connectedness for low-income people 50 and older, is also funding a part of this research.

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U.S. Financial Health Pulse