The 2016 CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard was recently released. CFED is the Corporation For Enterprise Development, an organization that works to create pathways for financial security and opportunity on a local, state and federal level.
The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard ranks each state’s residents on five categories: financial assets and income, businesses and jobs, housing and home ownership, health care and education. Within each category are multiple subcategories, such as banking, net income, unemployment rate, low-wage jobs, foreclosure rates and more.
Here are a few highlights from this year’s Texas scorecard; to read rankings, 1st is better in terms of economic opportunities for residents while 51st is worst (District of Columbia included as a state in survey):
Financial Assets and Income
Unbanked and underbanked households
10.4% of Texas households are unbanked while 27.4% are underbanked. “Unbanked” means a household does not have a checking or savings account, while “underbanked” households may have accounts but still rely on payday loans, pawn shops or money orders to get the money they need when they need it.
Nationwide, 7.7% of households are unbanked while 20% are underbanked; this puts Texas ranking 41st in unbanked households and 50th in underbanked households–nearly the worst in the nation.
Income poverty rate
The income poverty rate is the number of households living below the federal poverty threshold. 15.7% of Texas households live in poverty, putting the state in 37th place. The average in the U.S. is 14.5%.
Businesses and Jobs
The low-wage jobs rating measures the number of jobs that have an annual median pay below 100% poverty threshold for a family of four ($23,624). 30.8% of jobs in Texas are considered low-wage jobs. This measurement is important because not only do low-wage jobs usually not pay enough to support a worker’s family, these types of jobs also often lack paid leave, health insurance and other beneficial services.
Texas ranks 40th out of 51 in number of low-wage jobs; the nationwide average is 25.6%.
Housing and Home Ownership
High-cost mortgage loans
11.5% of mortage loans in Texas are high-cost, ranking the state 50th in this category. According to CFED, “This measure describes the percentage of home purchase loans that have a significantly higher-than-average APR. Typically, lenders have targeted elderly, minority, and low-income families with these products, which put these families at greater risk of foreclosure and loss of home equity.” Nationwide, 7.1% of mortgage loans are high-cost.
Affordability of homes
Affordability of homes is measured by diving the median housing value by median household income. Texas ranks 10th, meaning statewide affordability isn’t too shabby–though we know in Austin specifically, this measure doesn’t quite apply. As people continue to flock to Austin, housing continues to become less and less affordable.
The uninsured rate is just that–the number of residents who do not have health insurance. 21.3% of Texans are uninsured which is much higher than the nationwide average of 13.5%. In fact, Texas has the highest number of uninsured residents and ranks 51st in this category.
Uninsured low-income children
13.7% of low-income Texan children are uninsured, ranking the state as almost the worst at 50th. Nationwide, 8.2% of low-income kids are uninsured.
Early childhood education enrollment
41.5% of Texan three- and four-year-olds are enrolled in an early education program, as compared to 47.1% nationally. We are ranked 38th showing we still have much room for improvement in this important category.
Reading proficiency (8th grade)
This category measures the amount of 8th grade students who read at or above proficiency level. Only 28% of Texan 8th graders read at this level, which ranks the state at 41st.
High school graduation rate
Texas has seen a surge in students graduating high school within four years recently. 88.3% of Texan students completed this in the 2013-2014 school year, as compared to 82.3% nationally. This ranks Texas 5th in percentage of graduating high school students.
View all of Texas’s scores on the CFED website. As you can see, our state has much room to grow in many of these economic indicators.
If you or your family needs assistance signing up for health care, help affording your rent or finding free tutoring services, call us at 2-1-1. If you are un- or underbanked, check out our Banking page for free resources.