The Economic Security Database

Workers, advocates, policy makers, researchers and social service providers who build stable families and communities require a contemporary understanding of the living costs families face and the incomes that allow workers and elders to make ends meet and prepare for the future.

The Basic Economic Security Tables™ (BEST) Index and the Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index (Elder Index) measure the incomes workers and retired elders need to achieve economic security. The BEST and Elder Index present local expenses, savings requirements and economic security incomes by family type, and at the city, county and state levels. The BEST and Elder Index are comprehensive definitions of, and blueprints for, economic security.

Database users can:

  • Find an index for a location and family type
  • Compare their own families’ expenses to the local BEST Index
  • Compare indexes or single expenses across locations and family types
  • Download national, state, county and city index data
  • Access additional information on economic security and the work supported by the BEST and Elder Index

Did you know?

  • Approximately 4 in 10 Americans say they worry frequently about their family income being enough to meet their family’s expenses.

  • The majority of Americans think a family of 4 needs more than $50,000 per year to make ends meet.

  • Social Security provides an older woman renter with only 61% of the income required to achieve economic security.