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Making Mississippi Competitive: Solutions For Building Assets In Low-Wealth Communities

April 20th, 2011

A new report released today by MEPC in partnership with the Foundation for the Mid South finds that Mississippi’s net worth asset level is lower than 44 other states. The net worth of a typical Mississippi household is only about $50,000 compared to the national average of approximately $88,000.

Across the state of Mississippi, families are working hard, but fail to make ends meet. Low-wage work and the absence of assets exacerbate an exceedingly tough environment for working families. Assets, in particular, play a huge role in determining which families avert financial disaster during an emergency and which families move forward through homeownership, entrepreneurship or college education.

Yet, Mississippians face a number of obstacles in building assets. A higher percentage of Mississippians lack a checking or savings account than anywhere else in the country. In the absence of a relationship with a bank or credit union, families without retail accounts are relying on high-cost financial services. As families find that they are in situations where they must use high-cost financial services, less money is available to save and build assets.

“Making Mississippi Competitive: Solutions For Building Assets In Low-Wealth Communities” suggests a variety of ways that bankers, policymakers, and families can create an environment to facilitate saving among Mississippi’s working families that ultimately builds wealth.

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Read the full report here.

 

Financial Inclusion, Reports