Pew Charitable Trusts released a report which examined debt through the generations.  Below are some of the key findings from the report.  Click on this link if you want to read more details about the report.

Key Findings

  • 8 in 10 Americans have debt, with mortgages the most common liability.
    Although younger generations of Americans are the most likely to have debt (89 percent of Gen Xers and 86 percent of millennials do), older generations are increasingly carrying debt into retirement.
  • 7 in 10 Americans said debt is a necessity in their lives, even though they prefer not to have it.
    A generational divide in attitudes toward debt is emerging, with younger Americans being more debt-averse.
  • 2 times the amount of mortgage debt that Gen Xers had in their 30s compared with baby boomers at the same age.
    During the runup in housing prices before the Great Recession, Gen Xers were in their prime homebuying years, leading to higher mortgages for this generation.
  • 2 times the likelihood that the silent generation views loans or credit cards as opportunity-enhancing compared with Gen X.
    Attitudes about debt are influenced by stage of life. The silent generation (born between 1928 and 1945) are twice as likely as many younger Americans to view debt as having expanded their opportunities.