How much money does an 18-year-old have?
November 17, 2005 2:59 AM   Subscribe

What is the average amount of savings (or debt) of an 18-year-old American? What about a 20 or 21-year-old? What is their annual yearly income? Anyone know where I can find the breakdown on this is by race / state?
posted by insomnia_lj to Work & Money (6 answers total)
I'd say an average is not much use. You'd probably want some percentages instead.. X% are in debt, X% have savings, etc. Most of the people I knew at that age barely had any money or were in plenty of debt with college, etc.
posted by wackybrit at 3:53 AM on November 17, 2005

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will surely give you what you're looking for with regard to the income by race/state part. I'd be willing to bet somewhere in there is age or range of age data as well.
posted by porntips guzzardo at 6:41 AM on November 17, 2005

Survey of Consumer Finances (see the the report for some tables) has data on age, race, assets by type, and debt by type.
posted by milkrate at 6:50 AM on November 17, 2005

It's a difficult statistic to uncover, because many/most people that age in this country are still dependent on their parents financially, and so have access to quite a bit of money, but they don't directly own it.

There's many 18-year-olds who are still receiving thousands of dollars a year in "income" from their parents, especially if you count things like college expenses that may be being paid for, rent that might be subsidized, or cars that might be bought for them, etc.
posted by BackwardsCity at 8:16 AM on November 17, 2005

If someone under the age of 18 signs a contract, they are free to repudiate it at any time. For this reason, you'll have to look long and hard to find a company that will loan money to someone who isn't yet 18. Likewise, no one will let them sign up for phone service, rent an apartment, etc. So your average 18 year old hasn't had a chance to rack up much in the way of debt.
posted by Clay201 at 8:19 AM on November 17, 2005

So your average 18 year old hasn't had a chance to rack up much in the way of debt.

Actually, with the huge number of credit card companies that set up shop on college campuses, giving out free t-shirts &c. for signing up for a high-interest (loan shark-approaching) credit card, I would imagine you'd get some numbers that would surprise you.
posted by SuperNova at 2:11 PM on November 17, 2005

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