About 44,000 Sacramento households didn't have a bank account in 2011, most instead relying on check cashers and payday lenders, according to the latest data from the FDIC.
Those without a bank account often have low income and lack the minimum balance to start one. They are more vulnerable to theft -- and to high-interest charges from those who process their checks.
About 75 percent of the region's "unbanked" are under 35. Roughly two-thirds are single mothers. Latinos are almost three times as likely to be unbanked as whites.
A state initiative called Bank on California began in December 2008 to help the unbanked, and has opened 250,000 starter bank accounts. From 2009 to 2011, the proportion of unbanked households in Sacramento fell from 6.6 percent in 2009 to 5.4 percent. About 8.2 percent of households nationwide are unbanked.
This chart shows the income breakdown of Sacramento households without a bank account in 2011.
Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Notes: An insignificant portion of Sacramento households making over $75,000 in 2011 lacked a bank account. Fixed typo at 3:30 p.m. on 7/5 to show that 5.4 percent of Sacramento households are unbanked.