11 The State of American Finances

The American Teenager and College Student

The Facts

  • In 2012, there were 41,844,000 youth between the ages of 10-19, making up 14 percent of the total population.
  • 68.4 percent of students who graduated high school in 2014 were enrolled in colleges or universities.

Current Financial State

  • In 2014, 11.4 million jobs (or 8 percent of the U.S. work force) were held by youth, ages 14-21.
  • This number rises sharply from April to July each year, as teens look for summer employment. In 2014, 51.9 percent of young people aged 16-24 were employed in July, up from 50.7 percent in 2013.
  • National student loan debt is $1.3 trillion.
  • 2015 graduates with student loan debt have an average of $35,000 in debt.
  • In 2013, college students had an average credit card balance of $506.

Adolescents by Family Income, 2013

family income diagram

Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding.

Source: National Center for Children in Poverty, Basic Facts about Low-Income Children: Children 12 through 17 Years, 2013

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