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Living Below the Line: Economic Insecurity and America’s Families

Living Below the Line: Economic Insecurity and America’s Families. Shawn McMahon, Jessica Horning – Fall 2013

  • “Forty-five percent of US residents live in households that lack economic security. Thirty-nine percent of all adults and 55% of all children live in households that lack economic security incomes.
  • Between 2007 and 2011, the overall economic  insecurity rate rose from 38% to 45%. The rate  increased most for White children and unmarried couples.
  • Among those employed in 2011, workers living above the BEST Index worked a collective average of 42 hours per week, compared to 37 hours per week for workers living below the BEST Index. One in four working-age adults who work full time has annual earnings below his or her family’s economic security requirements.
  • Women are more likely to lack economic security than men are. The security gap between single men and women without children is small, but it is substantial for single parents. Seventy percent of single mothers working full time do not earn economic security wages, compared to 45% of single fathers. Single working mothers of color are especially at risk: 77% of Black single mothers and 83% of Hispanic single mothers who work full time do not earn economic security wages.”

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