The Urban Institute (CFED)
By: Gregory Mills
February 29, 2012
"Liquid asset poverty" and prolonged joblessness: The recession ripples on
On January 31, the Corporation for Enterprise Development released its annual Assets and Opportunity Scorecard. For the first time, the report included estimates of "liquid asset poverty"--the share of American households with insufficient liquid assets (e.g., bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, and retirement accounts) to subsist at the poverty level for three months. In 2009 an estimated 43 percent of U.S. households did not have enough liquid assets to protect themselves from a major income loss or emergency expense. This represented a slight uptick from the pre-recession level of 41 percent in 2006. Among states, liquid asset poverty rates in 2009 varied by a factor of more than two, with Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Vermont below 25 percent, while Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and West Virginia each topped 55 percent.