I recently came across an interactive infographic for the U.K. about personal indebtedness and was shocked at many of the stats in regards to personal debt — e.g. the UK national average indebtedness being £54,197!

What is the equivalent of the figure for people in the U.S? What other notable differences are there between personal indebtedness in the U.S. vs in the UK (e.g. type/sources of debt?)

  • Welcome SarahWillis, Question on ecomonics are offtopic unless they directly relate to personal finance. If you can edit and make your question more relevant than fact finding it would help, else it may get closed. – Dheer Mar 7 '14 at 11:48
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    The figure quoted is for personal debt, which I believe is on-topic. – DJClayworth Mar 7 '14 at 14:08
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    @DJClayworth - I read questions like this and am of the opinion, they fall into a category of trivia. Data that is often interesting to me, but objectively, not of ongoing use to help others with their finances. Consider, "no, we have our act together, and no one here has any debt" vs "we're actually in twice the debt on average." If either case were true, how would it affect OP's finances, or decisions? (My opinion, not citing FAQ) – JTP - Apologise to Monica Mar 7 '14 at 16:44
  • Does that include mortgages, because if it does, thats incredibly low? – Alex Chamberlain May 4 '14 at 7:49
  • A better question would be, "Do Americans have as high (or low) of a net worth as Brits?" – RonJohn Oct 10 '17 at 21:26

The figure you are quoting appears to be the personal debt per household. There are a number of comparable figures for the US there, and this seems to be one of the better ones. According to this analysis:

  • Total personal debt in the US is around $11.4 trillion. This includes mortgage debt
  • There are around 120 million households in the US
  • Giving an average personal debt per household of $97,500 (£58,000)

So Americans owe slightly more.

You don't say how the debt is divided in the UK, but in the US it is about:

  • 70% mortgage
  • 9% student loans
  • 8% credit card

There is some 'other'. The UK probably doesn't have as much student debt.


You can see the exact debt per US citizen here - US Debt clock.

Americans seem to me a very strange kind.

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