Bureau report says U.S. ‘financial well-being’ score averaged 52, out of possible 100, based on 2018 data

Average “financial well-being” scores for adults aged 18 and older, assigned state by state by the federal agency charged with consumer financial protection, ranged from 50 to 54 out of a possible 100 based on analysis of a 2018 study, according to a release Wednesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The bureau based its scores on an analysis of findings of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Foundation’s 2018 National Financial Capability Study. The report, the CFPB stated, shows that the average financial well-being scores for all adults (ages 18 and older) in the United States ranged from a low of 50 in Mississippi to a high of 54 in California, the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

For the United States, the average financial well-being score was 52, the bureau reported.

The bureau said the scores are standardized numbers between 0 and 100 that quantified a person’s underlying level of financial well-being. They are calculated by an individual’s responses to the 10 questions in the bureau’s Financial Well-Being Scale (explained in Wednesday’s report by the CFPB). “Financial well-being is defined as the state wherein an individual has a sense of: control over day-to-day and month-to-month finances; capacity to absorb a financial shock; being on track to meet financial goals; and ability to make financial choices to enjoy life,” the bureau stated in a release.

The report also said the average financial well-being score for younger and middle-age adults (ages 18 to 61) in the U.S. was 49 in 2018, while the financial well-being score for older adults (ages 62 and older) was 62. The report also describes how score patterns vary by these age groups by state.

CFPB report: Financial Well-Being by State