This article reports the results of a qualitative survey of 40 financial literacy programs in the United States, conducted by Michelle Coussens of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Research Department, and relates these results to three hypotheses of program evaluation and impact.
A key measure of success for the millions of immigrants who come to the U.S. seeking economic security for themselves and their children is the extent to which they participate in the U.S. financial services market. It is also an important indicator of how successful we, as a society, have been in benefiting from the ambition and hopes that bring many immigrants to the U.S.
Obesity rates for U.S. children have risen precipitously over the past 20 years. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1999–2002, 15 percent of children on average, ages 2–19 are obese. With little evidence that individual weight loss programs can solve the problem, attention is increasingly turning to the environment in which children live, in an effort to understand both the causes of and potential solutions to childhood obesity. Drawing on recent research, this article provides an overview of childhood obesity trends from the 1970s to 2002, explains briefly why obesity is a matter of concern, and discusses why this issue may overlap with the interests of community development practitioners. Many of the potential causes explored in the research literature involve topics that relate to community development. These topics include school budgets, lack of access to supermarkets in certain neighborhoods, the location of public buildings and amenities and the increase in dual-career and single-parent working families. These issues suggest that community development practitioners have a role in understanding the social and institutional forces that may have contributed to the surge in childhood obesity. Along with public health advocates, city planners and researchers, community development experts also have a role in developing policies that address the problem.
The flow of immigrants from a number of countries continues to shape the economic and demographic makeup of communities across the United States. Recent rapid growth and the overall size of the immigrant population from Latin American countries, in particular, have increased this group’s political and economic influence. As a result, the U.S. banking industry is becoming keenly aware of the significant business potential that the Latino market represents.