Data: The Basic Economic Security Tables Initiative
The Basic Economic Security Tables™ Index (BEST) is a measure of the basic needs and assets workers require for economic security throughout a lifetime and across generations. The BEST addresses the 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.BEST values have been calculated for the United States and Alabama, the District of Columbia, Michigan, and New Mexico.
The report finds that single workers need $30,012 a year – nearly twice the federal minimum wage – to cover basic expenses. Single-parents require nearly twice the income ($57,756) to support two children, while dual-income households with children require $67,920.The largest expense for most BEST families is rent and utilities. Other large expenses include transportation, child care and taxes.