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Debt in America 2023

This dataset contains information derived from a random sample of deidentified, consumer-level records from a major credit bureau. The credit bureau data are from February 2022 and contain more than 10 million records. We also incorporate estimates from summary tables of the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). We use ACS one-year estimates (2021) where possible, but for areas with smaller populations and for metrics that incorporate zip code–level information, we use the ACS five-year estimates (2017–21). Finally, we also use estimates from the 2020 Decennial Census.

The credit bureau data do not include information about race, so the white and people of color metrics are based on the racial makeup of zip codes within the geographic area (nation, state, and county). Specifically, the majority-white communities are based on credit records for people who live in zip codes where most residents are white (at least 60 percent of the population is white), and communities of color values are based on credit records for people who live in zip codes where most residents are people of color (at least 60 percent of the population is African American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native, another race other than white, or multiracial). The ACS data include information on people’s race, so the white and people of color values for ACS metrics are calculated directly for those populations.

Data are reported at the national, state, and county levels for the 50 states and Washington, DC. In the dataset, missing and unavailable values are noted with “NA.” Some values are missing because no data are available. Others are missing because credit bureau metrics are not reported when they are based on fewer than 50 people. In other cases, values for white communities and communities of color are not reported

because there are no zip codes with predominantly white populations or populations of color in the county or state. The map breaks are determined using the Jenks Natural Breaks method.

The October 2023 update includes some changes to the data previously published in June 2022. While the primary source remains credit bureau data from February 2022, we updated the ACS data to incorporate 2017‒21 five-year estimates (updated from 2015‒19) and 2021 one-year estimates (updated from 2019) and updated the decennial census data to 2020 (updated from 2010). We also made improvements to some of our data-processing steps and accounted for county changes in Alaska.

The October 2023 update also newly includes a version of the “All Debt” tab for young adults only, defined as consumers ages 18 to 24. These statistics are provided only at the national and state levels because of sample size limitations.

For more information, please see the technical appendix.

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
Release Date
Contact Name
Urban Institute
Contact Email
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Geographic Level
Data Value
Citation Requirements

Jennifer Andre, Miranda Santillo, Kassandra Martinchek, Breno Braga, and Signe-Mary McKernan. 2023. Debt in America 2023. Accessible from