Report: Minority households less able to sustain financial crisisby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — New numbers out Tuesday show the state's racial minority households are less likely to have the means to survive financial crises than white households.
Researchers studied "asset poverty" — or how long a family can sustain itself in the event of a job loss, health crisis or other emergency.
Andrea Ferstan, director of income strategies at Greater Twin Cities United Way, said the study looked at the number of Minnesota families that had sufficient financial resources to subsist at the federal poverty level for three months if their income was interrupted.
"It's about a family's ability to weather changes in the economy, to weather unexpected circumstances, whether it be a health condition, whether it be reduced hours at work or a loss of a job," Ferstan said.
The disparity between households of color and white households was particularly wide in Minneapolis, the report found. Minority households in Minneapolis had an asset poverty rate of 57 percent, while white households in Minneapolis had an asset poverty rate of 26 percent.
The asset poverty rate statewide among minority households was 43 percent.
More needs to be done to help families of color build long-term stability, Ferstan said.
"How can we ensure that families have the opportunity to build assets because we know that ultimately while income helps families get by assets are really the key strategy for moving ahead out of poverty and into long term financial security."
The data is based on U.S. census data from the American Community Survey, spanning 2006 to 2008.