Nearly half of all Americans lack economic security and seriously struggle to make ends meet, a report has found.

It is stated that 45 percent of Americans live in economic insecurity, with 39 percent of all adults and 55 percent of all children residing in a household struggling to cover basic expenses, according to a new report published by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), a Washington-based advocacy group.

“This is a wake-up call for Congress, for our state policy-makers, really for all of us,” said Donna Addkison, President and CEO of WOW releasing the report titled Living Below the Line: Economic Insecurity and America’s Families.

The WOW survey compared 2009 pre-tax incomes to a budget of basic and essential monthly expenses for various families, which it developed along with researchers at Washington University.

“Nearly half of our nation’s families cannot cover the costs of basic expenses even when they do have a job. Under these conditions, cuts to unemployment insurance, financial aid for post-secondary education, job training, even child care assistance and other programs families are relying on right now would push them from crisis to catastrophe,” Addkison added.

Another important finding in the report is that women are at a greater risk of living in economic security than men. It is also reported that 42 percent of all women, including 63 percent of African American women and 66 percent of Hispanic women, lack economic security. Only 18 percent of single mothers live with economic security.

“The majority of American families rely on women’s incomes, but women face alarmingly high levels of economic insecurity for themselves and for their families,” Addkison added. “For the sake of our families, our communities and our economy, we must act now. Preparing women for and employing women in family-sustaining jobs must be national priorities if we are going to work ourselves out of this economic meltdown,” she stressed.

Also notable is the finding that 82 percent of households headed by someone without a high school diploma lack economic security, whereas that number fell to 57 percent with a high school diploma and 36 percent for those with an associate’s degree.