Strategic Initiatives

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 chart

Median household income of $78,000

After flattening during the recession years, the median income among Rhode Island households has been steadily increasing from $56,000 in 2012 to $61,000 in 2017. This is above the US average of $57,652 and sets RI in the middle among New England states (MA leads at $74,167 and ME is lowest at $57,808).

Net new jobs chart

45,000 net new jobs

After losing many jobs during the recession, Rhode Island had rebound by the end of 2014 and in 2017 reported total year-end employment figure of more than 531,000. According to the RI Department of Labor and Training, much of the growth over the past few years has been in accommodation & food service, administrative & waste services, health care, professional & technical services and management. Above-average growth between now and 2025 is expected in five occupational ares: construction & extraction, computer & math, architecture & engineering, personal care & service, and food prep & serving.

Percentage of RI adults with a 4-year degree or higher

70% of Rhode Islanders have a credential or degree

With 70% of jobs in Rhode Island expected to require more than a high school diploma by 2020, the state adopted this 70% goal for 2025 to meet workforce needs and ensure that Rhode Islanders are ready to assume available jobs. Higher levels of education and credentialing will translate to higher wages. In 2017, Rhode Islanders with a high school degree earned 40% less than those with a bachelor’s degree ($55,749 vs $34,055). The average wage among Rhode Islanders with a graduate or professional degree was more than $75,000.

.40 on the Gini index

.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). The US is seeing increasing inequality with a Gini index of .48 in 2017 compared with .43 in 1990. Rhode Island’s rate in 2017 was .47.

2025 target: 50% reduction in income disparities

50% reduction in educational and economic disparities

Using household income as one measure, there is great variation in income by primary race of the householder. Asian and non-Hispanic white households earn between 35% and 60% more than households of other races and ethnicities. The same pattern follows for educational outcomes including academic performance and high school graduation.

Sources: US Census Bureau American Community Survey 5-year estimates and 1-year estimates, US Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Survey, PolicyMap.