Connecticut Family Asset and Opportunity Scorecard, 2009

Back • Publication Date: September 21st, 2009

Authors: Joachim Hero, M.P.H.

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While most surveys of family economic well-being focus on income, this report focuses on how well families are developing and preserving assets — in the form of savings, home equity, business ownership, access to health care, and educational attainment. Low family asset resources have diminished economic opportunities for many families and have left them poorly prepared to manage effects of the economic downturn.

Connecticut has among the worst racial and ethnic inequalities in family assets in the nation. For example, the median net worth of white-headed households in Connecticut is 65 times the median net worth of minority-headed households. Indeed, racial and ethnic minorities in Connecticut aren’t just worse off than whites in their net worth; they are worse off than minorities in most other states. Connecticut’s minorities had lower net worth than their counterparts in 32 of 33 states with available data.

The state also has among the worst gaps in the nation between higher- and lower-income groups in family asset measures. Connecticut ranked 25th in gap in net worth between high- and low-income residents among 33 states with available data. Also, the state received a grade of “D” in the scorecard in the area of homeownership, because of its racial and income gaps in homeownership and because of the high cost and low affordability of housing.

To help families build assets and improve economic opportunities, Connecticut Voices for Children recommends several state policies that would boost family assets and opportunities, including a state earned income tax credit, improved access to health insurance, homeownership incentives, supports for small business development, and a strategic economic development plan.