The average American savings balance by age, household size, and education level
[Business Insider, Getty Images]
- The average American family has $40,000 in liquid savings, across savings and checking accounts, according to data from the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances.
- Many factors impact the amount the typical American actually has saved, including age, household size, education level, and even whether or not you own a home.
According to data from the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances, the average American family has $40,000 in savings, across savings accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, call deposit accounts, and prepaid cards.
Note that this number is an average, not a median, which means it can be skewed by households with especially high or low balances. This number does not include investment balances, like money held in a retirement account or other brokerage account, or any equity held in real property, like a house.
When you look a little closer at the data, there are several factors that influence how much an American household actually has saved.
Average American savings balance by age
Older Americans tend to have more cash in the bank than younger Americans. The average person between the ages of 55 to 64 has $47,600 more than the average person under age 35. However, average savings account balances start to decline after age 70.
Here’s how the average savings balances break down by age group, according to Federal Reserve data:
|Age group||Average balance|
|35 to 44||$25,000|
|45 to 54||$40,900|
|55 to 64||$57,200|
|65 to 74||$67,700|
|75 or older||$51,400|
Average American savings balance by household size
Kids and marriages tend to dramatically change a family’s household savings balance.
On average, single-parent households tend to have the lowest average savings balances, while couples without children tend to have the highest average savings balances.
|Type of household||Average savings balance|
|Single, no children||$13,300|
|Single with one or more child||$11,700|
|Couple, no children||$66,000|
|Couple with one or more child||$42,800|
Average American savings balance by race
A large racial wealth gap still exists in America, from income to household wealth.
For years, many American banks denied mortgages to Black people, preventing them from buying homes in certain neighborhoods in a process known as redlining. Home ownership is one of the main ways Americans develop wealth.
As Business Insider’s Marguerite Ward reports, “The median white family had more than 10 times the wealth of the median Black family in 2016.” And, that gap has gotten wider since 1970.
According to data from the Federal Reserve, that gap flows into savings balances as well.
|Race of respondent||Average savings balance|
Average American savings balance by education level
As a family’s education level increases, so does the average savings balance. People who earned a high school diploma have an average savings balance double that of those who haven’t. Similarly, people with a college degree have an average savings balance about five times greater than that of someone who only completed high school.
Here’s how education affects savings balance, according to the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances:
|Highest education level completed||Average savings balance|
|No high school diploma||$7,600|
|High school diploma||$16,700|
Average American savings balance by homeownership
People who own homes tend to have a higher net worth than those who rent, and that’s in part because of the home’s value. But, it appears that homeowners save more, too — on average, people who own homes have more cash in the bank than those who rent, according to Federal Reserve data.
|Housing type||Average savings balance|
By Liz Knueven