FDIC Releases 2021 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households Results, Finding that Number of Banked Households Rose to Nearly 96 Percent
Earlier this week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) released the results of its 2021 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, which found that despite the unprecedented economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 96 percent of Americans are now considered banked. Since 2019—the last time the FDIC conducted its biennial survey—approximately 1.2 million more households became banked, which the agency reports was linked to government stimulus payments distributed during the pandemic.
“Nearly half of newly banked households that received government payments said these payments contributed to their decision to open an insured bank or credit union account,” reads a press release from the FDIC announcing some of the survey’s key findings.
Still, an estimated 4.5 percent of U.S. households (5.9 million) did not have a bank or credit union account, while 14.1 percent of U.S. households (18.7 million) were underbanked in 2021. These households had a bank or credit union account but used nonbank financial products and services at least once during the year.
The survey also found that the unbanked and underbanked rates remain higher among minorities, with 11.3 percent of Black households and 9.3 percent of Hispanic households reporting being unbanked, compared to 2.1 percent of White households. Similarly, 24.7 percent of Black households and 24.1 percent of Hispanic households reported being underbanked, compared to just 9.3 percent of White households.
The complete survey results are available here.