April 30, 2019
Here are six facts about Americans and their relationship with money—from the highs to the lows, and everything in between.
A little more than half of Americans reported feeling financially secure in 2014. Who’s feeling confident? Based on survey research, the people likeliest to report financial security included those with postgraduate degrees, those with incomes of $100,000 or more, and those with more than $50,000 of wealth aside from their homes. Learn more.
More than half (55%) of Americans reported just breaking even or spending more than they make each month, and one-third (33%) said their household has no savings. Learn more.
Forty-four percent of Americans have home mortgage debt, followed by an unpaid credit card balances (39%), car loans (37%), or student loans (21%). Although younger generations of Americans are the most likely to have debt (89% of Gen Xers and 86% of Millennials have debt), older generations are increasingly carrying debt into retirement. Eighty percent of Baby Boomers and more than half (56%) of retired members of the Silent Generation hold some form of debt. Learn more.
Low-income families are particularly unprepared for emergencies and typically have the equivalent of less than two weeks’ worth of income saved in cash, checking, and savings accounts. Learn more.
In 2014, households reported that the most common surprise was a major car repair (30%) in 2013. A major home repair, an illness or injury requiring a trip to the hospital, or a loss of income due to unemployment, a pay cut, or reduced hours were each reported by roughly 25 percent of the households. Families across income levels, races, and age groups had gone through shocks at similar rates; however, those families that had children, included more than one adult, or owned a car were more likely to have undergone a financial shock. Learn more.
When asked in 2014, one-quarter (26%) of Americans reported providing financial assistance for day-to-day expenses to someone outside their immediate family in the previous year. The median dollar amount of assistance provided was $1,000. Learn more.