Nearly Half of America Lives Paycheck-to-Paycheck

January 30, 2014

A report released Jan. 30 by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) has found that 44 percent of the nation's residents are scraping by from one paycheck to the next. According to the CFED, these Americans live in a state of “persistent economic insecurity,” that makes it “difficult to look beyond immediate needs and plan for a more secure future.”

The CFED refers to such households as “liquid asset poor,” with less than $5,887 in savings for a family of four. Their condition is worsened by the fact that the recession damaged many of their credit scores, and now 56 percent percent of Americans have subprime credit. This means that, in an emergency, many U.S. consumers may be forced to turn to high-interest debt from credit cards or payday loans.

The CFED reports that even middle-class households -- one in four, in fact -- fall into the category of “liquid asset poor.” Most of the economically insecure are clustered in the South and West, particularly in Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Nevada, and Arkansas.

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