June 21, 2007

Thursday Thirteen (#12) : Fun (?) Facts

Today, I offer thirteen facts which, when taken together, paint an interesting picture of the state of the American family's finances. Given the rise in foreclosures in the area where I live and the skyrocketing cost of living including housing, health care, and transportation, it's a wonder families can make ends meet at all.
  1. Fifty percent (50%) of the world lives on $2 a day.
  2. The average American household has a credit card debt of $9,300.
  3. One in three households reports using credit cards for basic living expenses (rent, mortgage, groceries, utilities).
  4. The personal savings rate in 2006 as a percentage of personal income was the lowest in over 70 years: negative one percent (-1%).
  5. Up to 56 million American adults do not have a bank account and therefore are without access to mainstream financial services.
  6. Approximately 46% of African-American households are unbanked.
  7. Approximately one in three Latino households are unbanked.
  8. Those "check cashing" places prey on the unbanked, often taking 50% of the check's value in fees.
  9. In 2005, two million Americans filed for bankruptcy.
  10. Of those two million who filed for bankruptcy in 2005, half were caused by medical care debt.
  11. Over 38 million Americans earn less than the federal "poverty level."
  12. Of those 38 million, half are employed. (Ever heard the term, "working poor"?)
  13. Each year, more than $30 billion in public benefits goes unclaimed or unused, often because of confusion over eligibility or a difficult application process. This is money already allocated and budgeted by federal and state governments but which people don't know they can take advantage of.
And then I offer this last little jab at the current administration in these two "fun facts": Number of American soldiers killed in Iraq since September 11, 2001: 3,533. Number of Osama bin Ladens captured or killed since September 11, 2001: zero. Are we winning yet?

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Nancy Lindquist-Liedel said...

I think I just read that American's have the highest per capita income in the world. Which, with gas prices, may neither be here, nor there.

PJD said...

I think I just read that American's have the highest per capita income in the world. Which, with gas prices, may neither be here, nor there.

I believe it, but per capita numbers would include Bill Gates, Barry Bonds, etc.

And with gas prices, there's a "here" and a "there" but probably not too much a "here and there."

(Thanks for visiting!)

Gail Martin said...

Scary statistics. The average person really does struggle to keep their head above water.

writtenwyrdd said...

Maybe PJD can clarify this, but I thought that even though we have a high per capita income, the numbers show 1) growing #s of below poverty line (working and non working poor); 2) shrinking middle class; 3) shrinking homeowners; and 4) growing per capita debt load.

The list of posted facts is sad and scary.