Mapping Financial Inclusion
The Mapping Financial Opportunity project, led by Drs. Terri Friedline (Director of Financial Inclusion at AEDI) and Mathieu Despard (University of Michigan), is moving forward with research that maps financial services across the United States. The map is being developed in partnership with New America and will be used to visualize the locations of financial services such as banks, credit unions, and alternative financial service (AFS) providers. Each county on the map is color-coded, using a spectrum of red to blue to highlight the ratio of AFS providers to banks: Red counties have the highest ratio of AFS providers to banks, blue counties have the lowest. This colorful snapshot gives clarity to patterns across the nation and illustrates the importance of state regulation. The map reveals worse distributions in the south, and large swaths of red in the southwest region. It also captures the stark contrasts between many neighboring communities with disparate access to financial services.
A special event will be held on Friday, February 24th, 2017 from 8:00am to 5:00pm at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, to unveil the map and discuss emerging evidence for important strategies that can improve financial health at the household, community, and national policy levels. Local practitioners, community organizers, advocates, and leaders are invited to attend the event. In addition to being a free event, attendees will be provided with breakfast and lunch, and will have the opportunity to receive continuing education units (CEUs).