Curious how you stack up against others financially? Check out our roundup of the latest personal finance statistics in the U.S.!
Ever wonder how you stack up against others financially? For better or worse, it’s human nature to compare. While we don’t necessarily encourage that, it can be helpful to get a big picture of personal finance around the country, and where you fit into that.
Why are some stats for the same thing different?
For instance, why do different reports have different numbers for household income?
If you’re curious why there’s conflicting data, it’s because every study has different methodologies and participants. These studies didn’t all survey the same exact people at the same exact time, so it’s inevitable there will be some inconsistencies across the different reports.
Regardless, that doesn’t mean these stats are completely off-base. We wanted to collect personal finance statistics from different reports to create a more rounded understanding of the state of personal finance in the U.S.—here they are below.
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey:
- The U.S.’s median household income was $67,521 in 2020—the first statistically significant decline since 2011. (The previous year’s median was $69,560.)
- The official poverty rate in 2020 was 11.4%, with 37.2 million people living in poverty.
- The real median earnings of men working full-time and year-round was $61,417.
- The real median earnings of women working full-time and year-round was $50,982.
- Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the median earnings for Americans at every age bracket, with the first quarter of 2022 breaking down as follows:
- 16-24 years: $668 weekly ($16.70/hour)
- 25 to 34 years: $975 weekly($24.38/hour)
- 35 to 44 years: $1,155 weekly ($28.88/hour)
- 45 to 54 years: $1,172 weekly ($29.30/hour)
- 55 to 64 years: $1,134 weekly ($28.35/hour)
- 65 years and over: $1,067 weekly ($26.68/hour)
- Note: We calculated each bracket’s hourly earnings by assuming a standard 40-hour workweek.
- According to EducationData.org:
- There are 43.4 million student borrowers in the U.S., carrying an average of $37,014 in debt each.
- The average public university student borrows $30,030 to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
- 58% of all student loan debt belongs to women.
- 94.8% of people with student loan debt borrowed funds for their undergraduate education.
- Wallet Hub found that the average American household’s credit card debt at the end of 2021 was $8,590.
- According to Experian, student loan debt continued to increase for all generations from the end of 2017 to the end of 2018. In fact:
- Generation Z had the largest increase, with a growth of 38% (from $10,203 to $14,119).
- Millennials experienced the second-highest growth; their student student increased by 7.9% (from $32,239 to $34,770).
Savings and Retirement
- According to Clever Real Estate’s 2021 State of Retirement Finances Report:
- The average retiree has $177,787 in retirement funds.
- Only 35% of retirees feel adequately prepared for retirement; 25% are concerned they’ll outlive their retirement savings.
- 16% of retirees must work part-time because their retirement funds and Social Security do not fully cover expenses.
- According to MagnifyMoney’s data:
- The average American household savings account balance is $16,420.
- The median American household savings account balance is roughly a quarter of that amount: $4,830.
- The results of a 2020 Bankrate survey indicate that COVID-19 has drastically impacted Americans’ savings. Specifically:
- 35% of people have less emergency savings than before the pandemic; 13% say they have more.
- 25% of Americans have enough savings to cover six months of expenses, compared to 18% the previous year.
- 21% of Americans have no emergency savings.
- Bankrate’s latest Financial Security Index survey shows that only 39% of American households could afford to cover an unexpected $1,000 emergency with their savings.
- The results of the Northwestern Mutual 2018 Planning & Progress Study show:
- Millennials carry an average $36,000 in debt and contribute 34% of their monthly income towards paying it off.
- The greatest sources of this debt comes from education (21%) and credit cards (20%).
- Meanwhile, 41% of millennials’ monthly income goes towards discretionary expenses.
- According to a 2018 Bank of America survey, 16% of millennials (those born between 1981 and 1995) have $100,000 or more in savings.
- The same survey found that 47% of millennials have $15,000 or more in savings.
- Research from the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) and George Washington University found that:
- 24% of millennials show basic financial literacy while only 8% demonstrate a high level of knowledge.
- However, 69% of millennials rated themselves highly in terms of possessing financial knowledge.
See any outdated figures or want to contribute a missing stat? Let us know in a comment below!