Launch of new neighbourhood financial health index

1 November 2018
November 1, 2018 (Ottawa) – Marking the launch of Financial Literacy Month 2018, Prosper Canada and the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) today released the Neighbourhood Financial Health Index (NFHI), a powerful new tool for measuring, visualizing and exploring the distribution and underlying drivers of financial health and vulnerability in local communities.

The first of its kind in Canada, the NFHI is a weighted composite index measure that enable users to see how individual neighbourhoods and communities are doing when it comes to household financial health.

Going beyond income data alone, the NFHI combines six indicators – household income, liquid assets, real estate assets, mortgage debt, consumer debt and neighbourhood poverty – to provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of household financial health at the neighbourhood level.

The NFHI is accompanied by interactive, online NFHI Community Financial Health Maps that enable users to see at a glance how financial health and vulnerability are distributed within specific communities and to explore the underlying drivers of financial health and vulnerability in individual neighbourhoods.

“Thanks to the NFHI, every Canadian community will now have – for the first time – a window into the degree and distribution of household financial health and vulnerability, neighbourhood by neighbourhood,” said Elizabeth Mulholland, Chief Executive Officer at Prosper Canada. “With this new information, communities will be better equipped to identify areas that need help and to target the right financial help and supports to where they are needed most.”

Constructed from Environics Analytics’ WealthScapes data, the new Index and mapping tool were developed to:
 
  • Measure and analyze household financial health within and across communities
  • Catalyze an informed dialogue about household financial health and vulnerability in Canada
  • Inform more effective policies, programs and services to reduce financial vulnerability.
“High levels of debt and wealth inequality pose real threats to households across the country. The NFHI is a new tool that, we hope, will help us tackle barriers to financial security and create a more equitable financial system,” said Katherine Scott, CCSD.

A new report, Cross Canada check-up: Provincial/Territorial findings from Canada’s Neighbourhood Financial Health Index was also released today, shining a light on the dynamics underlying Canada’s persistently high household debt levels and low savings rates.

The NFHI website, 2016 data and the report, Cross Canada Check-up: Provincial/Territorial findings from Canada’s Neighbourhood Financial Health Index, were generously funded by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.

The NFHI was developed by the Canadian Council on Social Development and Prosper Canada with the generous support and assistance of:

  • City of Calgary
  • City of Toronto
  • Environics Analytics
  • FuseSocial Wood Buffalo
  • Open Policy Ontario
  • Regional Municipality of Peel
  • Regional Municipality of York
  • TD Bank Group
  • United Way Calgary
  • United Way Toronto & York Region
  • Vibrant Communities Calgary
  • West Neighbourhood House  

To learn more about the NFHI and financial health and vulnerability in your community, visit www.nfhi.ca

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