Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and Greater New Orleans Community Data Center
August 14, 2012
This report examines the financial security of New Orleans families, including how many people in our community live without a checking or savings account, car, health insurance, a healthy credit score, and other assets.
In New Orleans, 37 percent of households live in “asset poverty,” defined as not having the financial means to support a household for three months at the federal poverty level should they lose their main source of income.
Asset poverty has particularly severe implications for New Orleans residents who need at least a moderate amount of savings or credit to be able to evacuate the city when a hurricane approaches.
Additional data confirm that too few residents have the necessary resources—assets like savings accounts, credit, and insurance—to weather emergencies. For example:
On the positive side, 22 percent of New Orleans workers own microenterprises—a higher rate than the national average.
In order to help New Orleans families become more financially secure, we need a systems approach that works across the public and private sectors to improve access to information, products, and protections. In addition, a cross-sector approach is needed to fully support the burgeoning entrepreneurial movement.