BEST Index

The BEST Index was developed by Wider Opportunities for Women and the Center for Social Development at Washington University-St. Louis, and is maintained by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The BEST addresses several pieces of the larger basic economic security picture–basic needs, savings, and employment-based benefits–and allows a broad and complete view of worker needs and families’ prospects for achieving the economic security so critical to their futures and to their communities. The BEST improves on other budget standards by presenting the specific needs of more than 400 family types–all possible 1- or 2-worker families with up to six children–for every state, county, and major city in the United States.



Elder Index

The Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index (Elder Index), was developed by the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston with Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), and is maintained in partnership with the National Council on Aging (NCOA). The Elder Index is a measure of the income that older adults need to meet their basic needs and age in place with dignity. The Elder Index is specific to household size, location, housing, and health status. It includes the cost of:

  • Housing
  • Health Care
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Miscellaneous Essentials



More Information

Additional information on the Economic Security Database and the projects supported by this data.

Family