This story originally appeared on Self Financial.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created deep financial hardships for millions of American families. Amid record job losses, reduced hours and wage cuts, the large share of U.S. workers who were already living paycheck to paycheck are now struggling even more to cover basic expenses.
New data from the Fed’s Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households shows that prior to the pandemic, less than half of Americans had enough savings to afford three months of expenses. And a staggering 37% of Americans reported that they would be unable to cover a $400 emergency expense without assistance.
Americans under 40 today have also accumulated less wealth than their parents did when they were the same age.
To find the best metropolitan areas for saving money, researchers at Self Financial analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s (BEA) Real Personal Income, Zillow’s Zillow Home Price Index (ZHVI), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Market Rents.
For additional context, researchers also calculated the median home price and the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment.
The researchers ranked metro areas according to a composite score based on three factors:
- Real per-capita personal income (45 points)
- Median housing costs as a percentage of median household income (35 points)
- Historical unemployment rate (20 points)
Here are the best large metropolitan areas for saving money.