Family Assets Count: Houston

Houston Households

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Liquid Asset Poverty
52% Don’t have 3 months of savings to live above poverty level
Asset Poverty
33% Don’t have 3 months of net worth to live above poverty level
18% Don’t have a checking or savings account
25% Have a bank account but still use check cashing or pay day loans

In Houston, 20% of households live in poverty, but more than twice as many (52%) are financially vulnerable. 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. Households of color fare even worse: 66% of African-American households and 74% of Hispanic households are liquid asset poor.

Of households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 annually, 47% are liquid asset poor. These households live in a state of persistent financial insecurity, one emergency away from falling into debt or even losing a home.

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, the Center for Public Policy Priorities and United Way THRIVE. The analysis spotlights a range of challenges confronting Houston’s vulnerable families:

Taking on these challenges will require focus and collaboration among policymakers, advocates, practitioners and philanthropists to strengthen programs, services and policies that improve family financial stability in Houston. Ensuring pathways to earning decent wages and sustaining employment, saving for emergencies, investing for future goals and protecting assets is important for families and critical to sustainable economic growth.

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


Building Financial Resilience in Houston: A Data Profile (PDF)

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A project of CFED in partnership with Citi Community Development.

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