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When it comes to financial security - such factors as savings and low debt ratios - Californians resemble the residents of Southern and Rust Belt states, according to a new national survey by the Washington-based Corporation for Enterprise Development.

California's place on the organization's national chart of economic opportunity and security, 39th among the states and the District of Columbia, is largely determined, the detailed data show, by its very low rankings on credit card debt, loan delinquency and bankruptcy.

The study found that nearly a third of California households are "asset poor," meaning they have little or no financial cushions, even if they are employed. And excluding equity in homes or cars, more than 43 percent of Californians could not sustain themselves for three months if they lose their incomes.

California households rank 49th in average credit card debt at $14,677, nearly a third higher than the national average and 45th in bankruptcy rate. Its ranking is similar to those of other southern tier states while the highest levels of economic security are found in the northern tier of states bordering Canada.

Vermonters are No. 1 in economic security and Georgians are 51st.


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