To assess the inclusiveness of the banking system, and in partial fulfilment of a statutory responsibility, the FDIC conducts biennial surveys of households to estimate the proportion of households that do not fully participate in the banking system. The second FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households presents new data and insights on the size of unbanked and underbanked markets at the national, regional, state, and large metropolitan statistical area (MSA) levels.
The 2011 FDIC Survey of Banks' Efforts to Serve the Unbanked and Underbanked provides insight into basic checking and savings accounts offered by banks, auxiliary financial products and services such as small dollar loans, financial education and outreach activities, marketing and retail strategies, and the challenges and obstacles reported by banks as they offer financial services to the underserved. It identifies five opportunities for banks seeking to increase their efforts to expand economic inclusion.
More than one in four households (28.3 percent) are either unbanked or underbanked, conducting some or all of their financial transactions outside of the mainstream banking system. Many of these households rely on AFS providers, while others use cash or other financial arrangements.
8.2 percent of US households are unbanked. This represents 1 in 12 households in the nation, or nearly 10 million in total. Approximately 18 million adults live in unbanked households. With regard to underbanked results, 20.1 percent of US households are underbanked. This represents one in five households, or 24 million households with 52 million adults.
8.2 percent of US households are unbanked. This represents 1 in 12 households in the nation, or nearly 10 million in total. Approximately 17 million adults live in unbanked households.
For the first time, the 2011 survey asked about the specific types of bank accounts—checking and savings—held by each household member. The large majority of US households (at least 88.5 percent) have a checking account (meaning that at least one person in the household has a checking account).
Savings accounts are less prevalent than checking accounts. Only 69.2 percent of households have a savings account, meaning almost one-third of US households do not.
Underbanked households are less likely to have a savings account (67.8 percent) than fully banked households (78.4 percent).
29.3 percent of households do not have a savings account, while about 10 percent do not have a checking account. About two-thirds of households have both checking and savings accounts.
The FDIC provides research, data, and additional resources for consumers, banks, policymakers, and others regarding underserved populations and the use of alternative financial services.Learn More
The FDIC released a whitepaper assessing the economic inclusion potential of mobile financial services.Learn More
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