Low-income people who work hard and play by the rules should be able to build a better life for themselves and their families. A new report by Prosperity Now (formerly CFED) shows that while Rhode Island has made some progress to help low-income families build a more prosperous future, more remains to be done.
The 2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard found that unemployment in Rhode Island is at its lowest rate in more than a decade, and average annual pay for workers increased slightly in the last year. Despite these gains, however, income inequality remains a significant problem for the state; the richest 20 percent of households now earn 5.3 times more than the poorest 20 percent, a disparity larger than that of most other states.
This year’s Scorecard assesses all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 62 outcome measures spanning five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Homeownership & Housing, Health Care and Education. Rhode Island’s 26th-place outcome ranking improved from last year’s 34th-place ranking.
As in past Scorecards, Rhode Island fares best (compared to other outcome categories, as well as to other states) in health care, ranking 10th overall. The Ocean State’s lowest ranking category is homeownership and housing, in which we rank 49th.