Financial misfortunes: which Americans are most at risk? |

Financial misfortunes: which Americans are most at risk?

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

An emergency fund is essential so you’re covered for unexpected misfortunes. How many of us will need one?

Over three in five Americans (61%) have experienced an unexpected financial burden to themselves or someone in their family, according to a recent survey. That adds up to 150.3 million American adults who found themselves needing cash unexpectedly.

These were the most common financial misfortunes for men and women:

Loss of job/redundancy27%11%
Emergency dental work22%10%
Loss of wallet/money17%9%

Which states experience crises most often?

The interactive map below shows the percentage of residents who have experienced an unexpected financial emergency in each US state. (We haven’t included data for states where the number of respondents was too low to calculate a number.)

Which generations suffer most frequently from emergencies?

The younger you are, the more likely you are to experience an unexpected financial crisis. Our survey found 75% of Millennials had experienced an unexpected crisis, compared to 64% of Generation X and 53% of Baby Boomers. Here were the most common issues for those groups:

MillennialsGeneration XBaby Boomers
Loss of job/redundancy28%28%21%
Emergency dental work23%23%20%
Loss of wallet/money26%18%11%
Accident requiring surgery19%13%11%
Loss of smartphone27%16%6%

Methodology commissioned pureprofile to conduct a survey of 6,838 American adults.

Picture: Shutterstock

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site