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2011 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households

Last Updated: October 25, 2022

The 2011 household survey results show that more than one in four households (28.3 percent) are either unbanked or underbanked, conducting some or all of their financial transactions outside of the mainstream banking system. Many of these households rely on alternative financial services (AFS) providers, while others use cash or other financial arrangements.

2011 Survey Results

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About the 2011 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households

To assess the inclusiveness of the banking system, and in partial fulfilment of a statutory responsibility, the FDIC conducts biennial surveys of households to estimate the proportion of households that do not fully participate in the banking system. The second FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households presents new data and insights on the size of unbanked and underbanked markets at the national, regional, state, and large metropolitan statistical area (MSA) levels.


Sponsored by the FDIC, the survey was conducted in June 2011 by the U.S. Census Bureau as a supplement to its Current Population Survey (CPS). Similar to the methodology in the inaugural report, the FDIC uses survey responses to categorize household banking status into three categories: unbanked, underbanked, and fully-banked. The Census Bureau surveyed approximately 54,000 households, and about 44,900 (84 percent) participated in the FDIC-sponsored supplement survey.