ATLANTA – Jan. 30, 2018 – Global financial dignity and economic empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE, Inc. today announced preliminary results of the HOPE Community Impact Study. The Impact Study is a research initiative intended to derive understanding of community wellbeing, behaviors, and needs, by associating credit score with community-level attributes, such as violent crime, homeownership, employment, income, education, and healthcare. In examining these relationships, Operation HOPE is creating an indicator model of community wellbeing based on measures of financial inclusion. The Impact Study comprises credit scoring data, financial partner impact data, and socio-economic data from related government entities. Initial research findings confirm the importance of financial literacy and inclusion on community wellbeing. The research was conducted across 299 of the largest metropolitan counties (by population) in the U.S.

The first phase of the research which examined the impact of credit score on occurrences of violent crime, found that communities with higher average credit scores were significantly less likely to have high occurrences of violent crime. Among low-to-moderate income communities, increasing the average score from 616 to 744 was found to increase the likelihood of that community being in the safest quartile of U.S. communities by approximately 20 percentage points—controlling for median household income, among other attributes.

The HOPE Community Impact Study initiative, launched in February 2017, is being led by the HOPE Research and Impact Institute, the thought leadership and research arm of Operation HOPE.  Detailed preliminary findings of will be unveiled at HOPE Global Forums | 2018 Annual Meeting that will be held in Atlanta March 26-28.