Unbanked Households on the Decline
According to a biennial survey from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the number of unbanked households in America declined to 7% in 2015. That is the lowest ranking in the survey’s history.
Previous surveys showed 7.6% of consumers being unbanked in 2009, 8.2% in 2011, and 7.7% in 2013.
In order for a household to be considered “unbanked,” no member of the household can have an account at a financial institution backed by the FDIC.
The FDIC also measures the percentage of underbanked households in America, which are those that have a bank account but also work with entities such as payday lenders and money transfer programs. That number did not statistically change from the previous survey, dropping from 20.0% in 2013 to 19.9% in 2015.
Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the FDIC, says these numbers reflect economic recovery throughout the country. He said the improvements made from 2013 to 2015 were more than “what one would expect even in light of improving economic conditions.”
Gruenberg also noted the improvements are occurring across different sectors of the population. Some of the most notable changes were in black and Hispanic households, where unbanked rates dropped about 10% between the 2013 survey and the 2015 survey. The only major exception to this is for unbanked Asian households, which increased from 2.2% to 4.0%.