Comprehensive data review illustrates Oregonians’ financial condition, literacy and decision-making
Salem, OR—State Treasurer Tobias Read today announced the release of the first-ever Oregon Financial Wellness Scorecard, which assembles dozens of data points to help illustrate Oregonians’ financial situations, decision-making and acumen.
The new data compilation was created to help spotlight financial capability and inclusion in Oregon, and to guide policymakers, nonprofits and the public when considering ways to help Oregonians achieve long-term financial security.
Overall, the Scorecard emphasizes the need for more financial education, at all levels, with the data highlighting both positive trends and areas in need of improvement.
Key findings include:
- Oregonians are collectively earning more, have rising net worth, and that the gender income gap is improving;
- However, despite healthier economic trends, Oregonians were less likely to answer financial knowledge questions correctly in 2021 than in 2018, and say they are less confident about making important financial decisions; and
- Oregon’s financial well-being is uneven—those living in rural areas and people of color are likely to earn less, face higher levels of poverty, and experience more financial stress.
“The quality of life for our families, our communities, and our stat is shaped by financial health and knowledge,” said Treasurer Read. “We will all win when more Oregonians, of every age and in every community, are equipped and prepared to make informed and wise financial decisions.”
The Scorecard comes courtesy of the Treasurer’s Financial Empowerment Initiative, which is working to augment, amplify and better coordinate financial capability, financial education and financial inclusion opportunities statewide. The effort is guided by the Financial Empowerment Advisory Team, which is chaired by the Treasurer and includes financial literacy experts from across the state and representatives from both the public and private sectors.
“It's critically important that we analyze the best data we can find to assess where Oregonians have been, and where they are now,” said George Katsinis, a Salem financial counselor who specializes in the needs of military families, and a member of the Financial Empowerment Advisory Team. “The best information will allow us to better link existing programs and resources to further meet the financial literacy needs of the diverse population of all Oregonians.”
The Treasurer’s initiative is also increasing the visibility and accessibility of financial-focused community resources and programs through a partnership with Oregon’s 211info network, and via the creation of the Oregon Financial Empowerment Awards, given to a community champion and an educator. The nomination deadline for this year’s awards is March 1.
“Financial capability by itself won’t eliminate poverty. Nor will it reverse systemic and historical barriers to wealth building that disproportionately impact underrepresented communities. Yet when people are more confident and informed in their financial decisions, it can and does create a positive difference,” Treasurer Read said.
There isn't a single metric that illustrates a person’s level of financial wellness, so the Scorecard accumulates a cross section of representative, existing data from 11 sources to help assess how Oregonians are faring. Sources include the U.S. Census, Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation.
You can learn more about the Scorecard at: www.oregon.gov/treasury/financial-empowerment/Docu...
Information about the Financial Empowerment Advisory Team is available on the State Treasury website at: www.oregon.gov/treasury/financial-empowerment/Page...
About Oregon State Treasury
Oregon State Treasury improves the financial well-being of all Oregonians. We provide low-cost banking, debt management, and investment programs for governments and empower Oregonians to invest in themselves and their loved ones through the Oregon College Savings Plan, Oregon ABLE Savings Plan, and OregonSaves.