Assets and Opportunity Scorecard

Posted by on June 17, 2005

[posted from Community Development Banking listserv]

CFED is pleased to announce the release of the 2005 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard: Financial security across the states. The Scorecard, available at, is the most comprehensive tool yet to measure ownership and financial security. It provides a detailed picture of how the states are faring in both performance and policy.

The Assets and Opportunity Scorecard measures the financial security of families in the United States by looking beyond incomes to the whole picture of building ownership and protecting against financial setbacks. The Scorecard ranks the 50 states and the District of Columbia on their performance in 31 measures of financial security, business development, homeownership, health care, and education. It also looks at 38 state policies in these areas (as well as tax policy) that can help or hinder citizens? efforts to get ahead. While ?getting by? may require only a paycheck, getting ahead depends on building assets, maintaining a financial safety net, investing in education, and securing health care. Staying ahead is greatly enhanced by homeownership and self-employment.

The story the Scorecard tells is compelling: many American families are living with practically no safety net, some groups and states are doing much better than others, and every state has room for improvement in helping its citizens. The most striking finding may be that nearly one in five American households owes more than it owns.

As an advocate for asset building and its related areas, you may be interested in exploring the Scorecard data, which are fully searchable through the website, as well as individual reports for how each state is faring. We believe there is much insight and leverage to be gained by understanding what state policies are in place that can affect asset growth and protection. We invite you utilize the Scorecard and all of the advocacy tools on the website. In particular, we suggest you visit the ?advocacy center? section of the site, which outlines ?10 things to do with the Scorecard.?

Please contact Beadsie Woo, CFED senior economist, at 919.688.6444 or if you have any questions about the Scorecard.

David Buchholz
Director, Applied Research and Innovation
777 N. Capitol St. NE, Suite 800
Washington DC 20002

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