Neighborhoods Matter: The Power of Place in Shaping Financial Health
The places where people live, work, play, and worship are tightly tied to their ability to be resilient during unexpected challenges and to seize opportunities over time. This brief highlights the role of place in financial health, as well as the opportunity for place-based solutions to improve the financial lives of residents and communities.

Necati Celik, Associate, Financial Health Network
Thea Garon, Senior Director, Financial Health Network

Top Takeaways

Leveraging data from the U.S. Financial Health Pulse and other public datasets, we find:

Those who live in neighborhoods with access to key resources, like clean air and water, quality education, and medical care, are more likely to be Financially Healthy than those who don’t.

People who are less Financially Healthy are more likely to say their debt has prevented them from moving, showing that simply relocating neighborhoods may not be an option for the financially struggling.

Place-based solutions that address the root causes of these challenges, not just their symptoms, may be a powerful way to improve financial health in America.

Data Spotlight

This brief uses the Financial Health Network’s FinHealth Score® to measure financial health. Learn more about the FinHealth Score



The U.S. Financial Health Pulse® is a groundbreaking research initiative designed to shed light on the financial lives of people in America. Using a combination of consumer surveys and transactional data, the Pulse provides a regularly refreshed snapshot of the country’s financial health.

Our Supporters

The U.S. Financial Health Pulse is made possible through a founding partnership with Flourish, a venture of The Omidyar Group. Additional support is provided by MetLife Foundation, founding sponsor of the Financial Health Network’s financial health work, and AARP.


The Financial Health Network is partnering with the University of Southern California Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research to field the study to their online panel, the Understanding America Study.

The Financial Health Network is working with engineers and data analysts at Plaid to collect and analyze transactional and account data from study participants who authorize it.