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Liquid Asset Poverty Rate Reports & Graphics

Liquid asset poverty is a measure of the liquid savings households hold to cover basic expenses for three months if they experienced a sudden job loss, a medical emergency or another financial crisis leading to a loss of stable income. Nearly half (43.5%) of households in the United States do not have a basic safety net to weather emergencies or prepare for future needs, such as a child’s college education or homeownership.

Having savings can help families better weather an economic setback. Furthermore, it can ensure that a household will not lose key wealth building vehicles, such as a home or business, during a financial set back, which could possibly threaten the household’s long-term financial well-being.  Research has found that households with assets are much less likely to suffer serious hardships in the event of an economic emergency. 

Liquid Asset Poverty Rate, 2011

StateLiquid Asset Poverty Rate (%)Rank
United States  43.5%   
Alabama  62.7%  39 
Alaska  —  — 
Arizona  45.7%  24 
Arkansas  51.9%  34 
California  45.9%  25 
Colorado  39.2%  17 
Connecticut  39.3%  18 
Delaware  32.0% 
District of Columbia  —  — 
Florida  48.7%  28 
Georgia  55.8%  37 
Hawaii  29.0% * N.R. 
Idaho  45.5% ** N.R. 
Illinois  38.3%  13 
Indiana  43.2%  20 
Iowa  26.2% 
Kansas  35.4% 
Kentucky  52.2%  35 
Louisiana  49.9%  31 
Maine  46.5%  26 
Maryland  34.8% 
Massachusetts  35.3% 
Michigan  38.8%  15 
Minnesota  27.8% 
Mississippi  61.9%  38 
Missouri  38.9%  16 
Montana  42.3% * N.R. 
Nebraska  25.4% * N.R. 
Nevada  55.6%  36 
New Hampshire  21.1% * N.R. 
New Jersey  40.2%  19 
New Mexico  44.4%  21 
New York  44.7%  22 
North Carolina  51.5%  33 
North Dakota  30.9% 
Ohio  44.7%  23 
Oklahoma  49.1%  29 
Oregon  36.3%  10 
Pennsylvania  36.4%  11 
Rhode Island  38.7%  14 
South Carolina  47.3%  27 
South Dakota  —  — 
Tennessee  50.0%  32 
Texas  49.8%  30 
Utah  31.7% * N.R. 
Vermont  27.0% * N.R. 
Virginia  36.5%  12 
Washington  32.5% 
West Virginia  48.6% ** N.R. 
Wisconsin  34.1% 
Wyoming  —  — 


Percentage of households without sufficient liquid assets to subsist at the poverty level for three months in the absence of income, 2011.

Liquid assets are those that are held in cash or can be liquidated quickly: bank accounts and other interest-earning assets; and equity in stocks, mutual funds and retirement accounts (IRAs, 401(k)s and KEOGH accounts). Liquid assets exclude equity in businesses, vehicles, homes and other real estate.

The threshold used to determine the liquid asset poverty rate varies by family size. A family of four with liquid assets less than $5,887 in 2013 is liquid asset poor.

Data are point estimates produced from a national survey with relatively small samples for some states, which can result in imprecise estimates and ranks. For more information on how we measured precision and to download margin of error data for each state, see here.


Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2008 Panel, Wave 10. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, 2013. Data calculated by Haveman Economic Consulting.

 "—" indicates that no data is available, or data is suppressed due to a margin of error that is greater than 50% of the estimate.

 "NR" indicates that data are not ranked because the estimate or rank is too imprecise to say with confidence how the state compares to other states.

Notes on the Data

* Indicates that the margin of error is greater than 25% of the estimate, and as such, this estimate is too imprecise to rank. Caution should be used when using this data.

** Indicates that estimate is unable to be ranked because the ranks are too closely clustered to say with confidence how the state compares to other states.

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