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Analysis

2011 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households

Last Updated: October 19, 2020

In June 2011, the FDIC sponsored the second National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households to collect data on the number of U.S. households that are unbanked and underbanked, their demographic characteristics, and their reasons for being unbanked and underbanked. This survey was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau as a special supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). The first survey was conducted in January 2009 and results were released on December 2009. Teamed with the rich demographic and geographic data available through the CPS, this survey continues to present a wealth of previously unavailable data on unbanked and underbanked households are available at the national, state, and large metropolitan statistical area (MSA) levels. It is hoped that these survey results will help better inform policymakers and the industry about economic inclusion issues, and promote the goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to basic, safe, and affordable bank services.

The FDIC undertook this effort to address a gap in the availability of comprehensive data on the number of unbanked and underbanked households in the United States. The FDIC also conducted this survey to comply with Section 7 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Conforming Amendments Act of 2005 that requires it to conduct ongoing surveys of banks efforts to serve the unbanked and provide insights into the size of the unbanked and underbanked markets. Some of the key overall findings from the 2011 include:

  • 8.2 percent of US households are unbanked. This represents 1 in 12 households in the nation, or nearly 10 million in total.
  • The proportion of unbanked households increased slightly since the 2009 survey. The estimated 0.6 percentage point increase represents an additional 821,000 unbanked households.
  • 20.1 percent of US households are underbanked. This represents one in five households, or 24 million households. The 2011 underbanked rate in 2011 is higher than the 2009 rate of 18.2 percent, although the proportions are not directly comparable because of differences in the two surveys.
  • 29.3 percent of households do not have a savings account, while about 10 percent do not have a checking account. About two-thirds of households have both checking and savings accounts.
  • One-quarter of households have used at least one AFS product in the last year, and almost one in ten households have used two or more AFS. In all, 12 percent of households used an AFS product in the last 30 days, including four in ten unbanked and underbanked households.

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EconomicInclusion.gov
This site presents the findings of the Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households in an interactive manner, allowing for comparisons of the data; as well as links to other initiatives.

Access the 2011 Household Survey Data
Access the data through the Census Bureau's Data Ferret Tool or download the June 2011 Basic Current Population data and the 2011 Unbanked/Underbanked Supplement via File Transfer Protocol (FTP).