Material Hardship Among Nonelderly Adults and Their Families

In response to several proposed federal changes to safety net program requirements, the Urban Institute developed a Well Being and Basic Needs Survey (WBNS) and published a report on the status of individual and family health and well-being. The data serves as a baseline against which to measure deviations as a result of potential policy change. Despite a low unemployment rate and growing labor market, the first round of WBNS data from 2017 shows that nearly 40 percent of adults had trouble meeting at least one basic need, a number which may increase due to proposed safety net changes. Hispanic, black, female, young, ill, and less educated demographics are the most likely to face hardships. The survey will continue to measure potential effects of policy changes and highlight areas of programmatic need.
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