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 has been steadily increasing from $56,000 in 2012 to $63,000 in 2018. 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).
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 total year-end employment figure of more than 505,000. 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.
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 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
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 2018 Gini index was .49 compared with .43 in 1990. Rhode Island’s rate in 2018 was .47.
50% reduction in educational and economic disparities
Using household income as one measure, there is great inequality by primary race of the householder. Asian and non-Hispanic white households in Rhode Island earn upwards of 60%-100% more than black, Hispanic and American Indian households. 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.