Census – Fewer U.S. Households Have Debt, But Those Who Do Have More

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 25, 2013

“The percentage of U.S. households holding some form of debt declined from 74 percent to 69 percent between 2000 and 2011, according to new statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. At the same time, the median amount of household debt increased over this period from $50,971 to $70,000 (in 2011 constant dollars). These statistics are part of a larger package released today that contains statistics on household wealth, asset ownership and debt. These statistics come from Household Debt in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011 and accompanying detailed tables that examine the median value of debt and percent holding debt for households, by various characteristics of the householder, such as race and Hispanic origin, age, education and income quintile. Between 2000 and 2011, the largest increases in median debt were experienced in households with householders age 35 to 44 (to $108,000), 45 to 54 (to $86,500) and 55 to 64 (to $70,000). However, the largest percentage increases in debt belonged to householders 55 to 64 years old (64 percent) and 65 and older (more than doubling to $26,000). Furthermore, people 65 and older were the only age group whose likelihood of holding debt rose over the period (from 41 percent to 44 percent). The opposite pattern was observed for those under 65.”

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