April 30, 2019

6 Facts About Americans and Their Money

Learn more about Americans and their relationship with money

Here are six facts about Americans and their relationship with money—from the highs to the lows, and everything in between.

1) 51% of Americans say they are financially secure 

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.

2) 1 in 3 Americans report having no savings 

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.

percent of Americans report having no savings

3) 8 in 10 Americans have debt. Most Americans who have debt owe money on their homes.

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. 

4) 55% of Americans say they have less than a month's income saved for emergencies 

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.

percent of Americans say they have less than a month's income saved for emergencies

5) 60% of American households said they'd had a financial shock in the previous year

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. 

percent of American households said they'd had a financial shock in the previous year

6) 1 in 4 people said they'd helped friends or relatives with expenses

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.  

Continue Exploring

Learn more about Americans today: Savings, Financial Crises, Financial Security, Debt

Around the Site