The state of household debt in the US
US household debt has risen by nearly 50% over the last two decades, after adjusting for inflation.
from USAFacts.org, June 1, 2023
US households amassed roughly $16.9 trillion in household debt nationwide by the fourth quarter of 2022. According to population figures from the Census Bureau, this is equivalent to around $128,824 per household, on average.
Total household debt increased by approximately $1.1 trillion, or roughly 6.7%, since the beginning of 2022.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, household debt reached an unprecedented high at the beginning of 2023. However, after adjusting for inflation, it is still below the peak of $17.4 trillion in Q4 of 2008, just before the Great Recession.
Over 70% of current debt comes from mortgage debt, which has historically accounted for the majority of household debt.
Student loan debt has also been increasing quicker than different types of debt over the past two decades. This debt was relatively small compared to other debt types in 2003 but has since grown significantly and is now the second-largest component of household debt.
The rise in overall debt can be partially attributed to rising interest rates from the Federal Reserve, which increased by about 4% over 2022. Rising interest rates result in increased borrowing costs, which lead to higher monthly payments on debt, such as mortgage payments for homeowners.
Which states have the highest household debt relative to income?
By the third quarter of 2022, Hawaii had the highest debt-to-income ratio of any state at 2.26. This figure means that the average household has just over twice as many monthly debt payments as their gross monthly income.
Right behind Hawaii’s debt-to-income ratio was Idaho at 2.07 and Maryland at 1.97.
It’s difficult to attribute this variation in household debt ratios to a singular cause, as they can be influenced by a combination of economic, demographic, and social circumstances.
However, certain factors, such as the relative cost of living by state, changes in property values, or the cost of education, could be partially responsible….
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