It has the highest average debt. Here's a state-by-state breakdown

The average debt in Washington, D.C. is $1,611. It’s 539 times that in Hawaii.

A study from GOBankingRates found that debt varies greatly depending on where Americans live. Hawaii has the highest debt by a longshot: $869,250. The next-worst debt is Maryland with $284,851.

According to the study, most people in Hawaii — 75 percent — have debt. This isn’t a complete shock. Education costs are high in Hawaii, while retirement dollars there will get you the least return out of all 50 states. Hawaii may sound like a great place to vacation, but don’t live there.

Hawaii is above and beyond the absolute worst state for debt, but there are others that are bad, too. While Maryland is the second-worst, Texas ($185,583 average debt), Oklahoma ($174,838), and Indiana ($166,844) round out the top 5.

When there is high, there is low, too. D.C. has the lowest amount of average debt in the country, and there are others, too:

  1. Washington, D.C.: $1,611
  2. Arkansas: $2,286
  3. Louisiana: $6,139
  4. South Dakota: $6,738
  5. Nebraska: $8,426

The average debt nationwide is $140,113.

Men carry more debt than women

Men also carry more debt than women — $95,057 vs. $31,037 — but GoBankingRates notes that in the questioning for this study, mortgage debt was included, even though mortgage-related questions weren’t asked. Men already out-earn women in home equity and salary so this doesn’t come as a complete surprise.

The gender pay gap is still prominent even five years after graduation for the youngest of employees. Even for the same degree, same college, and same graduation date. Of course, there are plenty of industries where the pay gap is even larger, and women won’t see true equal pay for more than 200 years.

While men may have more debt than women, that doesn’t mean women don’t have any debt. Women are scared of living paycheck-to-paycheck for the rest of their lives because they don’t earn enough to live comfortably.

Sure, women are better at money management but that’s probably because they have less money to manage than their male peers. That means less disposable income, more debt, and less savings for emergencies and retirement.

Retirement is hard enough on all of us, but it’s especially difficult for women. Because women earn less, they are working more and for longer. They’re still the primary caregivers, too. The struggle physically and emotionally also hurts them financially.

Because women are facing a lot more financial struggles over their lifetimes, they might not be able to afford homeownership at the same rate as men, meaning they might not be holding on to as much debt as their male counterparts. Overall, women are smart when it comes to money, but that doesn’t mean they have the finances to hold on to and manage debt. They may have higher credit, but they have lower earnings.

Due to these circumstances that women face mainly because they are simply women, they aren’t as well-off as they think they are, especially when it comes to managing finances after the passing of their partner. Death can have long-lasting effects.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Article last modified on December 11, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: If You're Trying to Lower Your Debt, Get Out of Hawaii - AMP.