Fed releases Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2021 report

The Federal Reserve Monday released the results of its annual Survey of Household Economics and Decision-making (SHED) survey on household financial well-being. According to the survey, 78 percent of adults were either doing okay or living comfortably financially, the highest share with this level of financial well-being since the Fed began conducting the survey in 2013. Meanwhile, 68 percent of adults said they would cover a $400 emergency expense exclusively using cash or its equivalent, up from 50 percent who would pay this way when the survey began in 2013.

Of note, 48 percent of adults rated their local economy as “good” or “excellent” in 2021. This share was up from 43 percent in 2020 but well below the 63 percent of adults who rated their local economy as “good” or “excellent” in 2019, before the pandemic.

The report covers topics of interest for financial institutions, and additional findings of the 2021 SHED survey include:

  • Most people using cryptocurrencies did so for investment purposes, and those purely using crypto for investment purposes were of disproportionately high-income, almost always had a traditional banking relationship, and typically had other retirement savings;


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