The media loves to focus on the one percent or the working poor, but have you ever wondered about the finances of the average American? Take our quiz to see if you know how much a typical American earns, owns and owes!
The median household income is around $55,775 nationwide, but can vary dramatically by region. In high cost-of-living states like Washington or New York, median income hovers above $60,000. In Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, it's less than $45,000 annually.
Student loans have steadily increased over the years, and the class of 2016 carries an average debt of $37,172. Nationwide, 44 million students carry a total of $1.3 trillion in loans and counting.
The average American carries just $3,600 in credit card debt. Not bad, right? It is when you consider that around 60 percent of Americans carry no credit card debt, so the average is actually MUCH higher among those that actually have a balance.
Since 60 percent of Americans have no balance on their cards, households that do carry a balance owe an average of $16,048 -- an amount that rose around 10 percent from 2014 to 2016.
The average credit card has an interest rate of 16.1 percent. With a typical $16,000 balance, that means you're paying $2,600 per year in interest alone. Ouch.
If you have a typical $16,000 balance at 16.1 percent, it'll take you 14 years to pay it off if you stick with the minimum payment. Even worse, you'll pay a total of $40,000, thanks to interest. And that's only if you don't use the card at all to rack up extra charges.
When you add up mortgages, credit cards and other debts, the average American household is in the red to the tune of $90,000. Remember, though, that some households have no debt. Among households that do owe money, the average debt soars to $130,000.
Believe it or not, the average credit score is a respectable 700 -- up from 695 in 2015. This depends on which credit score model is being used, however.
More than half of Americans, or 57 percent, have no negative items on their credit report. Among those that do have delinquencies, the average one is 17 months old.
The average person has six open accounts, such as six open credit cards, and uses only about 15 percent of all credit available to them.
A whopping 73 percent of Americans die in debt, and the average debtor owes $62,000 when they take their final breath.
Around 40 percent have a credit score over 750, and one in four scores over 800 -- making them eligible for the lowest interest rates and best terms when borrowing money.
The average mortgage debt is $172,806 -- but remember that number reflects people with million-dollar homes as well as those with no mortgage debt at all.
The median amount of retirement savings is $5,000 for working families. The average retirement savings is $95,000. The difference between these two figures reflects the fact that super savers sock away a huge amount of money, while most people put away very little.
About half of Americans have nothing saved for retirement. Among the lowest 20 percent of income earners, only one in ten has a retirement savings account. Among the top 20 percent of earners, nine out of ten have a retirement savings account.
About a third of Americans have no savings at all, leaving them vulnerable to emergencies of all kinds. Only about 28 percent have saved six months' worth of expenses.
The Pew Institute estimates that the largest financial emergency most people will face each year will cost around $2,000. That means you should always keep that much in savings at a bare minimum.
Around two out of three Americans take a loan when purchasing a vehicle. Half secure financing from a bank or credit union, while the other half take a loan from the dealer -- often at a higher rate of interest.
Student loans are the second-largest source of debt in the U.S., followed by cars and credit cards.
To get net worth, you add up all of your assets and subtract your debts. For the average household, this works out to around $80,000.
Home equity accounts for around one-third of all net worth in the U.S. Median home equity is around $81,000 per home.
Retirement accounts make up the second and third largest assets for most people in the U.S. The median 401k is valued at $46,000, while the median IRA comes in at around $40,000.
The average household spends around $7,000 on food annually, with around $3,000 going to dining out and the rest to groceries.
Average housing costs in the U.S. add up to $18,409 per year. That includes just short of $3,900 to utilities and another $1,800 to furniture and miscellaneous goods.
The average household spends $4,342 on healthcare, which includes $2,977 in health insurance premiums. Of course, this doesn't include other types of insurance, like life, home and auto.
Americans spend an average of $2,842 on entertainment, compared to $1,846 on clothes and just $1,315 on education.
Just about one-third of Americans actually have a budget to plan where their money will go, according to a Gallup poll. The people most likely to have a budget are those earning more than $75,000 per year.
Around half of American households live paycheck to paycheck. A third have less than $500 in the bank to cover an emergency.
Fifty percent of people earning minimum wage have more than one job to cover expenses. A full 75 percent of those earning minimum wage are living paycheck to paycheck, compared to half of all Americans at all levels of income.
Just 25 percent of American households are completely debt free. Americans are an optimistic bunch, though, because just 12 percent of those surveyed believed they will still be in debt when they die.