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— WITH PHOTO — TO BUSINESS, FAMILY, AND NATIONAL EDITORS:
Fewer U.S. Households Have Debt, But Those Who Do Have More, Census
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
amount of household debt increased over this period from
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
Between 2000 and 2011, the largest increases in median debt were
experienced in households with householders age 35 to 44 (to
the largest percentage increases in debt belonged to householders 55
to 64 years old (64 percent) and 65 and older (more than doubling to
whose likelihood of holding debt rose over the period (from 41 percent
to 44 percent). The opposite pattern was observed for those under 65.
"Those 65 and over became more likely to hold debt against their
homes, and their median housing debt increased, as well, which
explains a significant portion of the increase in their overall debt
between 2000 and 2011,"
During the period, the composition of debt held by households also
changed considerably. While the percentage holding credit card debt
declined from 51 percent in 2000 to 38 percent in 2011, the percentage
holding other unsecured debt, such as educational loans and medical
bills not covered by insurance, rose from 11 percent to 19 percent.
"Householders under age 45 experienced the largest increases in both
the likelihood of holding other debt and the amount of other debt,"
Also released today was Household Wealth in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011 and
associated detailed tables that examine the median value of assets and
percent holding assets for households in 2011, by type of asset owned
and householder characteristics similar to those explored in Household
Debtin the U.S.: 2000 to 2011.
According to Household Wealth in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011, median net
worth rose from
excluding home equity has not exhibited the same degree of variability
as overall median net worth: it showed no statistically significant
change between 2000 and 2005 and decreased by
between 2005 and 2011.
"The changes in overall median net worth observed over the past decade
have been driven primarily by changes in one of its major components –
equity that American households hold in their homes,"
Over this same time period, there was significant regional variation
in the changes in median net worth. The West experienced the largest
changes over the last decade, increasing from
Between 2010 and 2011, median net worth showed no statistically
significant change. Median net worth excluding home equity increased
The source of data for each of these products was the Survey of Income
and Program Participation. As in all surveys, these data are subject
to sampling and nonsampling error. For further information on the
source of the data and accuracy of the estimates, including standard
errors and confidence intervals, go to
http://www.sipp.census.gov/sipp/source.html. All dollar figures are in
2011 constant dollars.
Detailed tables on wealth
Detailed tables on debt
Highlights: Household Wealth in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011
Highlights: Household Debt in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011
Blog: Household Wealth and Debt in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011
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