April 14, 2021

10 Facts About Americans and Money

Learn more about how Americans manage their money

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought financial hardship for many Americans: A quarter of adults said they have had trouble paying their bills since the pandemic began, and another third said they dipped into savings to make ends meet. For Financial Literacy Month in April, let’s take a closer look at some top facts about how Americans manage their money — based on data from 2018-2021.

1) 69% of Americans said in 2019 that they have some type of savings account.

Learn more.

2) 36% of nonretired Americans said in 2020 that their retirement saving was on track.

On the other hand, 45% of nonretirees said that their retirement saving was not on track, and the rest are not sure. Black (23%) and Hispanic (22%) nonretirees are less likely to view their retirement savings as on track than White nonretirees (42%). Learn more.

3) 47% of Americans said in 2020 that they have rainy day funds set aside that would cover expenses for three months in an emergency.

Breaking down emergency savings by income level, 75% of upper-income adults say they have a three-month rainy day fund, while only 48% of middle-income and 23% of lower-income adults say the same. Learn more.

4) Americans owned a median of three credit cards in 2019.

Eighty-three percent of American adults had at least one credit card in 2020. Learn more here and here.

5) 50% of Americans with a credit card said in 2020 that they had paid their bill in full every month in the prior year.

The other 50% of credit card holders said they carried a balance from month to month at least once in the prior year. Learn more.

6) 56% of American adults (an estimated 143 million Americans) said in 2018 that they used a smartphone to conduct a financial transaction in the past year.

Learn more.

7) 41% of Americans had a mortgage or home loan in 2019.

Upper-income Americans are most likely to have a mortgage or home loan — 60% do. This is compared to 50% of middle-income Americans and only 19% of lower-income Americans. Learn more.

8) 35% of Americans said in 2019 that they have personal investments in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

Learn more.

9) 27% of Americans say they worry every or almost every day about paying their bills, as of January 2021.

This is down from 38% during the height of the pandemic shutdown in April 2020.  Learn more.

10) 31% of American adults say they or someone in their household has taken a pay cut due to the coronavirus outbreak, as of January 2021.

Among lower-income adults, 37% say they or someone in their household has experienced a pay cut. Learn more.

Continue Exploring

Learn more about Americans today: Retirement, Savings, Debt, Banking, Expenses

Around the Site