Financial Security
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity

Not Available





Access to Financial Services by Race/Ethnicity, 2015

What does this measure?

The percentage of households that have neither a checking nor savings account (unbanked) or have an account but instead relied on alternative financial services (underbanked) in the past 12 months.

Why is this important?

Having access to and using checking and savings accounts and other financial products can help families save money, plan for the future, and build credit. Rates of underbanked and unbanked households may indicate limited access to resources, especially in low-income communities. Without a bank account, one must pay fees for cashing checks that accumulate over time.

How is our region doing?

Access to financial services was lower among African American and Hispanic residents in the three MetroWest counties than it was for white or Asian residents in 2015. Unbanked or underbanked rates in Middlesex were 46% for African Americans, 39% for Hispanics, 19% for Asians, and 15% for whites. Rates in Norfolk were 42% for African Americans, 32% for Hispanics, 19% for Asians, and 15% for whites. Rates in Worcester were 48% for both African Americans and Hispanics, 21% for Asians, and 17% for whites. These were similar to disparities in Massachusetts and the United States as a whole.

Why do these disparities exist?

Scholars have uncovered the connections between racial disparities in access to financial services and historical and contemporary practices that disadvantage the Black community and other people of color and contribute to gaps in wealth that have compounded over generations. Policies to exclude people of color from financial systems and capital included redlining, which prevented many Black people from obtaining mortgages. Historic incidents, including the demise of the Freedman's Savings and Trust in 1874 which resulted in a $2.9 million loss for mostly Black depositors lacking federal insurance, contributed to ongoing mistrust of financial institutions. Today, there is a dearth of bank branches in some neighborhoods and people of color tend to pay more for bank products such as car loans or mortgages even when they have comparable credit ratings as white peers.

Notes about the data

Underbanked households are those that have a checking and/or a savings account but have used non-bank money orders, non-bank check-cashing services, non-bank remittances, payday loans, rent-to-own services, pawn shops or refund anticipation loans (RALs) in the past 12 months. Unbanked households have neither a checking nor savings account.


Access to Financial Services by Race/Ethnicity, 2015
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Massachusetts17%31%24%14%
Middlesex16%31%23%13%
Norfolk16%31%21%12%
Worcester17%32%24%14%

Source: Prosperity Now
Notes: Underbanked: Percentage of households that have a checking and/or a savings account and have used non-bank money orders, non-bank check-cashing services, non-bank remittances, payday loans, rent-to-own services, pawn shops or refund anticipation loans (RALs) in the past 12 months. Unbanked: Percentage of households with neither a checking nor savings account.








INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Maintaining
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Decreasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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