Making Mississippi Competitive-Solutions For Building Assets In Low-Wealth Communities

For Immediate Release 
April 20, 2011
Contact: Krista Buckhalter
Office: (601) 944-9320
E-mail: [email protected]

New Report Details Mississippi Among States with Lowest Household Net Worth
Calls on bankers, policy makers and families to pursue reforms that build assets, strengthen consumer protections and increase financial education

JACKSON — The Mississippi Economic Policy Center (MEPC) and the Foundation for the Mid South have released a new report, noting that the net worth of a typical state household is only about $50,000, compared to the national average of approximately $88,000. This makes Mississippi’s net worth asset level lower than 44 other states. The report details how a variety of high-cost financial services in the state, such as check cashing, payday loans, and short-term title loans using the family car as collateral, disproportionately affect low-wage households.

“April is Financial Literacy Month and the Foundation for the Mid South believes that financial education is vital,” said Necole Irvin, with the Foundation. “Understanding the importance of a budget, saving for a rainy day, and acquiring more assets, like a home or business, can lessen generational poverty and move more families up the ladder of financial security.”

The report also suggests a variety of ways that bankers, policymakers and families can create an environment to facilitate saving among Mississippi’s working families that ultimately builds wealth.

About the Foundation for the Mid South

The Foundation for the Mid South is a regional foundation dedicated to improving lives by expanding knowledge in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The foundation seeks to increase opportunity for residents and communities by supporting and strengthening the skills and capacities of organizations and individuals working to bring about change. It supports efforts that create high-quality education, encourage physical and mental health, promote financial security, and enable communities to grow and prosper. More information can be found at

About the Mississippi Economic Policy Center

MEPC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts independent research on public policy issues affecting working Mississippians. Through public outreach efforts, policymaker education and engaging the media, MEPC uses its analysis to ensure that the needs of low- and moderate-income Mississippians, in particular, are considered in the development and implementation of public policy with the ultimate goal of improving access to economic opportunity.

MEPC is managed by the Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE), a regional financial institution and community development intermediary dedicated to strengthening communities, building assets and improving lives in economically distressed areas throughout the Mid South.


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