April 8, 2020

6 Facts About Americans and Money

Learn more about Americans and their relationship with money

With 70% of Americans saying that the COVID-19 pandemic poses a major threat to the nation’s economy, money is a top concern for many of us. For National Financial Literacy Month in April, let’s take a closer look at some top facts about Americans and their money — based on data from 2017-2019.

1) 12% of American adults said in 2019 that they would not be able to cover an emergency expense of $400

To cover the $400 expense, 63% of adults say they would use cash or its equivalent, and 17% would sell something or borrow from a friend or family member. Learn more.

2) 37% of Americans said in 2019 that their retirement savings were on track

In comparison, 44% of non-retirees said that their retirement savings were not on track, and the rest were not sure. Black (29%) and Hispanic (22%) non-retirees were less likely to view their retirement savings as on track than white non-retirees (43%). Learn more.

3) 64% of American adults owned a home in 2019

In comparison, 28% of American adults rented their home, and 8% had some other arrangement. Learn more.

4) $7,923 was the average amount American households spent on food in 2018 

Out of all average annual household expenditures in 2018, the three largest categories were housing (33% of expenditures), transportation (16%), and food (13%). Learn more.

5) 48% of Americans with a credit card said in the fall of 2019 that they had paid their bill in full every month in the prior year

In comparison, 26% carried a balance one or some of the time in that year and another 26% carried a balance most or all of the time. Learn more.

6) 81% of married people said in 2019 they are doing at least okay financially — compared with 65% of unmarried people

Learn more.

Continue Exploring

Learn more about Americans today: Expenses, Retirement, Savings, Spending

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