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 2018-2020.

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

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

On the other hand, 44% of nonretirees said that their retirement saving is not on track, and the rest are not sure. Black (29%) and Hispanic (22%) nonretirees are less likely to view their retirement savings as on track than White nonretirees (43%). 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 2019. Learn more here and here.

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 once or some of the time in that year and another 26% carried a balance most or all of the time. 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.

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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.

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9) 38% of Americans say they worry every or almost every day about paying their bills, as of April 2020.

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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.

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

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