Friday, October 22, 2010

WOW Releases New Measure of Economic Security

Last week, Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) released its newest measure of economic security, the Basic Economic Security Tables for the DC Metro Area (DC BEST) . WOW is pleased to have been featured in multiple media outlets over the past week, including the Sunday edition of the Washington Post.

The DC BEST calculates the monthly income a family needs to be economically secure. Provided in the full report are data for over 400 family types, distinguishing between two-parent and one-parent households and ages of children. The full report also found that about half of DC residents have not attained economic security.

Building on WOW’s Self-Sufficiency Standard and Elder Index, the DC BEST includes a savings component for emergency and retirement savings, showing families what it takes to save for the future. The data also shows Fairfax County as the most expensive place to live in the DC area, costing a family of four (two parents, one preschool-age child and one school-age child) over $100,000 a year to make ends meet.

Working will allied partners, WOW will use the DC BEST to advocate for those in the District and beyond. Accompanying the data is a policy brief outlining WOW’s recommendations to the incoming administration for building economic security for all DC residents. We will use the data to advocate for a number of issues, including the creation of good jobs, increased childcare assistance and financial literacy education about saving for emergencies and retirement.

We encourage you to view the full report, which includes data for DC and its surrounding jurisdictions including Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County and executive summary of the policy brief for more information .You can also contact WOW’s DC Family Economic Security Program Team: Sara Bocinski ( and Delese Harvey (

Alisha Howell
Communications & Program Coordinator
Elder Economic Security Initiative

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