• Assets & Opportunity Profile: Dallas

Study reveals startling picture of Dallas’ financial insecurity

Communities Foundation of Texas and the Thomson Family Foundation funded a study, The Assets & Opportunity Profile for Dallas, to better understand wealth, poverty and opportunity in the City of Dallas, Dallas County and the 12-county North Texas region. The study, completed in 2012 by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), profiles a Dallas where many people face financial vulnerability that was not previously understood. The city's 19.2-percent income poverty is twice the national average (9.9-percent). The Assets and Opportunities Profile outlines the financial insecurity of Dallas households and suggests measures to help families achieve financial stability.

The study reports that 39-percent of all Dallas residents live in "asset poverty," a new measurement of poverty defined as not having the financial means to support a household for three months at the federal poverty level (i.e., $4,632 for a family of three) should they lose their main source of income. According to CFED, the national average of households in asset poverty is 27-percent, placing Dallas below average in financial security.

"These data offer a new perspective on the many forms of poverty and a startling revelation that two-fifths of Dallas households are just a crisis away from serious financial trouble or even homelessness," says Brent Christopher, President and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas. "With this information and the tools to interpret and know how to use it, local nonprofits can tailor their specific programs to have a more effective impact on the poverty issues in Dallas, filling gaps in a more concerted way." Nationally, more than one-third of families do not have enough assets to live for three months at the federal poverty level should they lose their main source of income. Contrary to common perceptions of North Texas’ relatively high income levels, the region’s poverty is worse than the national average. Not only does financial insecurity destabilize families, it also jeopardizes the long-term vitality of cities and local economies.

Click here to read the full report.
Click here to read the press release.

Wende Burton
Community Philanthropy Director

39% of Dallas households could not survive for three months above the poverty level if they lost their job today.

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