PALMETTO STATE RESIDENTS FALLING FURTHER BEHIND …
South Carolina ranks second in the nation in terms of the percentage of its population with debt in collections – another troubling economic statistic for a state supposedly in the midst of a “recovery.”
According to a study released this week by the Urban Institute, 46.2 percent of South Carolinians currently have debt in collections – second only to Nevada’s 46.9 percent. The national average is 35.1 percent.
Another 6.5 percent of Palmetto State residents have debt past due – well above the national average of 5.3 percent.
Want more bad news? South Carolina’s debt is also disproportionately large given our state’s income levels – which consistently rank among the lowest in the nation. The average debt in collections in South Carolina is $5,606 – well above the national average of $5,178.
Nationally an estimated 77 million Americans have debt in collections – although the percentage of the population facing such financial issues doesn’t appear to have changed much over the past decade.
Here’s what that looks like on a nationwide map …
Why is this happening? From the Associated Press …
Wages have barely kept up with inflation during the five-year recovery, according to Labor Department figures. And a separate measure by Wells Fargo found that after-tax income fell for the bottom 20 percent of earners during the same period.
Look, we don’t blame South Carolina residents for this … we blame their “leaders.” If state government would let them keep more of their money and let the marketplace improve their educational outcomes … things would be much, much better.