The Self-Sufficiency Standard measures how much income is needed for a family of a certain composition in a given place to adequately meet their basic needs - without public or private assistance. The Standard makes it possible to determine if families' incomes are enough to meet basic needs. The Standard assumes that all adults (whether married or single) work full-time and includes the costs associated with employment - specifically, transportation and taxes, and for families with young children, childcare. The Standard also takes into consideration the ages of children in the family, as well as regional variations of cost.
Developing strategies to ensure Indiana households reach economic security requires data that defines how much is enough and which households are struggling. This report reveals the “overlooked and undercounted” of Indiana, describing which families are struggling to make ends meet. This analysis is based on the Self-Sufficiency Standard, a realistic, geographically specific, and family composition- specific measure of income adequacy, and thus a more accurate alternative to the official poverty measure. Over the last 23 years, calculation of the Self-Sufficiency Standard has documented the continuing increase in the real cost of living, illuminating the economic crunch experienced by so many families today.
This report presents and analyzes The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Indiana 2016. The measure calculates how much income a family must earn to meet basic needs, with the amount varying by family composition and where they live. The Standard presented here is a tool that can be used in a variety of ways - by clients of workforce and training programs seeking paths to self-sufficiency, by program managers to evaluate program effectiveness, and by policymakers and legislators seeking to create programs and pathways that lead to self-sufficiency for working families.
This report addresses the issue of economic security for Indiana households. The Self-Sufficiency Standard approach to economic security consists of three elements: securing the costs of daily basic needs, creating an emergency savings fund, and choosing the appropriate asset-building Economic Security Pathway(s). While the The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Indiana 2016 focuses on the first two elements, this report focuses on the third. The three pathways described in this report are postsecondary education, improved housing/homeownership, and savings for retirement.
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Resources from the 2009 Indiana Self-Sufficiency Standard