2025 Impact Targets: Economic Security
In Economic Security the Foundation's investments of funding, and our institutional investment beyond grantmaking, are aimed at long term, demonstrable improvements in household financial stability and household wealth.
Median household income of $78,000
After flattening during the recession years, the median income among Rhode Island households steadily increased from $56,000 in 2012 to $70,305 in 2020. This is above the US average of $64,994 and sets RI in the middle among New England states (MA leads at $84,385 and ME is lowest at $59,489).
50% reduction in economic disparities
While incomes have risen overall in Rhode Island, as shown in the chart above and the comparison chart here, there continues to be persistent income inequality by race and ethnicity. In 2019, non-Hispanic White households in Rhode Island earned upwards of 50%-70% more than Black, Hispanic, and American Indian households. These same patterns of disparities persist in many areas, including in educational and health outcomes.
45,000 net new jobs
After losing many jobs during the recession, Rhode Island had rebound by the end of 2014 and in 2019 reported a total year-end employment figure of more than 505,000 with growth in the areas of accommodation & food service, professional & technical services, management, and health care. After a big drop in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, jobs were climbing again to end 2021 at 488,000.
70% of Rhode Islanders have a credential or degree
The state adopted this goal of 70% by 2025 to meet workforce needs and ensure that Rhode Islanders are ready to assume available well-paying jobs: Higher levels of education and credentialing will translate to higher wages. While progress between years fluctuates, the state is seeing slow but steady progress in increasing college degree attainment – from 40% in 2009 to 48% in 2020.
.40 on the Gini index
The Gini Index is named after an Italian economist who developed the measure in 1912. It is widely used to measure income inequality and results range from 0 to 1. A score of 0 indicates perfect equality in wealth distribution whereas a score of 1 shows absolute inequality (where only one recipient or group receives all the income). Inequality in the US is increasing: the 2019 Gini index was .48 compared with .43 in 1990. Rhode Island’s rate has held steady at .47 since at least 2013.
Sources: US Census Bureau American Community Survey 5-year estimates and 1-year estimates, US Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Survey, PolicyMap.