CCI, a fintech PR firm that conducts cultural studies, analyzed the household debt and compared it to the average salary of each state. By breaking down debt into four major categories including auto loans, credit cards, mortgages, and student loans, CCI determined Utah households were the worst off.
“The average Beehive State household owes 138% of the state’s average annual salary,” says CCI’s study. According to CCI’s data, Utah makes an average salary of $57,360. The average total debt is reportedly $79,240 meaning Utah’s Debt-to-Salary ratio is roughly 1.38.
CCI explained a partial explanation for Utah’s high Debt-to-Salary ratio may be in part because of Utah’s demographic. According to the United States Census Bureau, Utah has a median age of 31.9, which is the youngest in the nation.
“This means that residents of the state are more likely to be early in their financial journey, having had less time to pay down mortgages, auto loans, and student debt,” said CCI. “Young parents, who are abundant in the state, may also be in a phase of life where paying down debts takes a backseat to the challenges of raising a family.”
CCI said it’s worth noting that having a low debt to salary doesn’t necessarily mean the state is poised for wealth building, and vice versa. One example is New York, which has the fourth lowest Debt-to-Salary ratio according to the study but also has the lowest rate of home ownership.
According to the study, Utah has the sixth highest debt in the nation, most of which stems from mortgages and auto loans.
Arkansas, Hawaii, Alabama and Colorado don’t fall too far behind Utah for being the most indebted states while Arizona and Alaska hold the title of the least indebted states in the country.