Access and Participation
AARP: Workforce Access to Employer-Based Plans, by State
AARP offers factsheets at the state and national level focusing on retirement savings, including using the Current Population Survey to look at workforce access to employer-based retirement plans.
The Pew Charitable Trusts: Employer-based Retirement Plan Access and Participation across the 50 States
This analysis is drawn from federal sources and shows employer-based retirement plan participation and access by state, region, and metropolitan area. Users can also generate state-level summaries based on gender, education, wage, industry, employer size, race and ethnicity, and age.
- The Pew Charitable Trusts: A Look at Access to Employer-Based Retirement Plans in the Nation’s Metropolitan Areas
This report provides a more detailed examination of the data for access for workers in metropolitan areas. It focuses on 104 metropolitan areas with a population of at least 500,000, and breaks down rates of access by regions and “metropolitan statistical areas”, as defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget.
SCEPA, The New School: Retirement Plan Coverage and Participation Rates by State
This interactive map show state-by-state information on retirement plan coverage and participation rates.
Fiscal Savings Associated with Helping Private Workers Save for Retirement
AARP: Fiscal Savings to States of Helping People Save More for Their Own Retirement
These fact sheets by AARP show the fiscal savings to state governments that could result from lower-income retirees having saved through Work and Save programs during their working years.
Segal Consulting: Study of Medicaid Savings from State Retirement Savings Options for Private Sector Workers
This study from Segal Consulting suggests that states could reduce their Medicaid costs by implementing a state-sponsored retirement savings plan that is made available to their residents working in the private sector who do not participate in a retirement program through their employer. The study finds that when residents build their nest egg through participating in a retirement plan, it keeps them above the poverty line and states in turn see a significant reduction in Medicaid spending.
Older Population Income
AARP: 2014 Social Security Quick Fact Sheets
Data is provided on the older population and Social Security’s role in lifting retirees out of poverty, Social Security beneficiaries and benefits, and Social Security’s impact on the state economy. Information at the national level is available as well as for each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.
SCEPA, The New School: Sources of Income for Americans Aged 65+
This interactive map shows state-by-state information on Social Security, assets, and earnings as a percent of total income for the age 65 and over population.
UMass Boston & Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW): The Elder Economic Security Index
The Elder Index was developed by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston with Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), and is maintained in partnership with the National Council on Aging (NCOA). The Elder Index is a measure of the income that older adults need to meet their basic needs and age in place with dignity. The Elder Index is specific to household size, location, housing, and health status. It includes the cost of housing, health care, transportation, food, and other miscellaneous essentials.
Financial Security and Assets for Households
NIRS: State Financial Security Scorecards
The State Financial Security Scorecards offer a state-by-state assessment of retirement security. The Scorecards are intended to highlight areas of potential policy interventions to improve workers’ retirement prospects. Each Scorecard measures states’ performance in predicted retirement income, major costs in retirement, and the labor markets facing older workers.
Prosperity Now: Assets & Opportunity Scorecard
The Scorecard evaluates states on dimensions such as financial security and economic opportunity on five policy areas: financial assets and income, businesses and jobs, housing and homeownership, health care, and education. States receive a credit for retirement security (listed under the policy area of financial assets and income) if they have approved legislation for implementation of a state-run Automatic IRA.
Financial Literacy, Education, and Well-Being
Champlain College: National Report Card on Adult Financial Literacy
This report card and corresponding report measure the financial literacy knowledge, skills and behaviors of adults nationally and for each state. Each state’s overall level of adult financial literacy is measured using 59 state-specific data points from 18 different organizations. States are graded on five financial categories: Financial Knowledge, Credit, Saving and Spending, Retirement Readiness and Other Investing, and Protect and Insure and states are graded on a relative grading system.
Council for Economic Education: Survey of the States
Every two years, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) conducts a comprehensive look into the state of K-12 economic and financial education in the United States, collecting data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The biennial Survey of the States shows the trends of the states in incorporating personal finance and economic education into the K-12 curricula.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Financial well-being by state
This 2019 report provides the first state-by-state description of the financial well-being of adults in the United States, as measured by the CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale. The report is based on public data from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) 2018 National Financial Capability Study State-by-State Survey (NFCS). The report highlights important patterns found in the distribution of scores by state and age group.
FINRA Investor Education Foundation: National Financial Capability Study
This study is designed to understand and measure the financial capability of Americans and looks at a combination of knowledge, access, experience and habits. Now in its fourth iteration, this study collected data from June through October 2018 and builds on the findings and benchmarks established in previous waves and adds to the growing conversation about how individuals can best manage and make decisions about their financial resources.
Government Databases – State Level
U.S. Census: American Community Survey (ACS)
The ACS provides information about the American people and workforce. It provides data on demographics (age, race, etc.), economic (employment status, income, poverty, etc.), housing (rent statistics, value of home, etc.), and social (educational attainment, language, marital status, etc.) topics. The ACS’s data on the population 65 years and over in the United States provides insight on the senior population in the United States as a whole and can be broken down to the state and local level.
U.S. Census: Statistics of U.S. Businesses, by State (SUSB)
This annual data contains information on U.S. firms including figures on number of firms, employment, and annual payroll. The data are organized by states, industry, and firm size. Data are only available for economic census years (years ending in 2 and 7).
U.S. Small Business Administration: State Economic Profiles
The Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Profiles provide data on small businesses in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as national level data and limited data on the U.S. territories. Topics covered include: number of firms, demographics of business ownership, small business income, banking, business turnover, industry composition, and employment gains and losses by size of business.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Recent Data on Retirement Benefits
The National Compensation Survey (NCS) provides comprehensive information on defined contribution and defined benefit retirement plans. Data is collected annually from respondents for civilian, state and local government, and private industry workers, on access to, and participation in, selected benefits such as retirement. Additional data on provisions of retirement plans and employer costs for employee compensation for different occupational and industry groups, worker characteristics, and geographic areas is available.
Other Key Government Databases
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Financial well-being in America
This report provides a first-of-its-kind view into the state of financial well-being in America. It presents results from the National Financial Well-Being Survey, conducted in late 2016. The findings include the distribution of financial well-being scores for the overall adult population and for selected subgroups, which show that there is wide variation in how people feel about their financial well-being. The report provides insight into which subgroups are faring relatively well and which ones are facing greater financial challenges and identifies opportunities to improve the financial well-being of significant portions of the U.S. adult population through practice and research.
The Federal Reserve Board: Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF)
The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is a triennial cross-sectional survey of U.S. families. The survey data include information on families’ balance sheets, pensions, income, and demographic characteristics. Information is also included from related surveys of pension providers and earlier such surveys conducted by the Federal Reserve Board.
University of Michigan: Health and Retirement Study (HRS)
The University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a longitudinal panel study that surveys a representative sample of households where the head is 51 years of older. It is supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. The survey collects information on income, work histories, assets, pensions, disability, cognitive function, and health care expenses.
University of Michigan: Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)
The longest running longitudinal household survey in the world, this study began in 1968 with a nationally representative sample of over 18,000 individuals living in 5,000 families in the United States. Information on these individuals and their descendants has been collected continuously, including data covering employment, income, wealth, expenditures, health, marriage, childbearing, child development, philanthropy, education, and numerous other topics.
U.S. Census: Current Population Survey (CPS)
The Current Population Survey (CPS), sponsored jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is the primary source of labor force statistics for the population of the United States. In addition to being the primary source of monthly labor force statistics, the CPS is used to collect data for a variety of other studies that keep the nation informed of the economic and social well-being of its people through supplemental questions. Supplements include the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) (which provide data on income and work experience).
U.S. Census: Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)
The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) collects data and measures change for many topics including economic well-being, family dynamics, education, assets, health insurance, childcare, and food security. The purpose of SIPP is to collect data to measure the effectiveness of existing federal, state, and local programs, and to this end collects data on cash and non-cash income, tax payments, and information on assets and debts.