Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF)

Sponsored by the Federal Reserve Board, this triennial survey is the only fully representative source of information on the broad financial circumstances of U.S. households. The SCF is unique. No other survey collects data on the household finances of a probability sample of Americans. Data from the SCF are used to inform monetary policy, tax policy, consumer protection, and a variety of other policy issues. The data also serve as a basis for longer-term research on the economic state of the American family. The survey is thus of enormous consequence not only to the Board, which commissions it and has developed and shaped it, but also to millions of US taxpayers who have no idea of its existence.

The contents of the survey are of both a highly sensitive and technical nature. This instrument includes questions about the following:

  • Attitudes and Financial Institutions
  • Credit Attitudes and Credit Cards
  • Principal Residences and Lines of Credit
  • Real Estate and Loans to Others
  • Businesses
  • Vehicles
  • Education Loans
  • Other Loans
  • Attitudes about Savings
  • Financial Assets
  • Work and Pension
  • Income, Taxes, and Support
  • Inheritances and Charity
  • Demographics, Health, and Independent HH Members
  • Finances of Independent Household Members

The 2016 triennial survey will collect data from 6,500 respondents beginning in April.

Principal Investigators


Kevin Moore