April 8, 2020

6 Facts About Americans and Money

Learn more about Americans and their relationship with money

With 70 percent 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 2018 that they would not be able to cover a hypothetical expense of $400

Sixty-one percent of adults said they would cover the $400 expense using cash or its equivalent, and 27 percent would sell something or borrow to pay for the expense.
Learn more.

2) 36% of Americans said in 2018 their retirement saving was on track

Among those who were not retired, 36 percent said their retirement saving was on track and 44 percent said it wasn’t, and the rest were not sure. Black (25%) and Hispanic (23%) non-retirees were less likely to view their retirement saving as on track than white non-retirees (42%). Learn more.

3) 64% of American adults owned a home in 2018

In comparison, 27 percent of American adults rented their home, and 9 percent 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) 47% of Americans with a credit card said in the fall of 2018 that they had paid their bill in full every month in the prior year

In comparison, one-quarter (26%) said they carried a balance once or some of the time in that year and the remaining 27 percent said they carried a balance most or all of the time. Learn more.

6) 82% of married people said in 2018 they are doing at least okay financially — compared with 66% of unmarried people

Of those with children under age 18, unmarried parents were much less likely to say they’re in good financial standing (52 percent) than married parents (78 percent). 
Learn more.

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

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