Pennsylvania Has a Ton of Student Debt

The average is higher here than in every state but Delaware and New Hampshire.

The personal-finance website WalletHub has compiled a list of the best and worst states in terms of student debt, which is now the largest component of Americans’ household debt except for mortgages — a grand total of $1.9 trillion at the moment. Data used to calculate the best and worst include average student debt, the unemployment rate for residents ages 25 to 34, student debt as a percentage of household income, and the percent of residents with past-due loan balances, among other factors.

Pennsylvania, which tied with North Carolina at number 32 on a list running from best (Utah) to worst (Mississippi), doesn’t look so bad at first blush.

But we came in two slots from the bottom in highest average student debt, with only Delaware and New Hampshire ranked below us, and in the same place on the best-to-worst list of highest proportion of students with debt (above just South Dakota and New Hampshire. New Hampshire, who knew? We thought you were all such hardy libertarians up there.)

New Jersey was a hairbreadth above Pennsylvania in the overall rating, at number 30, and Delaware is in 28th place. In case you’re wondering, the 10 states with the lowest average student debt, from one to 10:

  1. Utah
  2. Wyoming
  3. North Dakota
  4. Washington
  5. Nebraska
  6. Virginia
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Minnesota
  9. Colorado
  10. South Dakota

Students in states with the highest average debt have average loans twice as big as students in states at the top end of the list. In case you’re thinking of moving, the five states with the lowest unemployment rates for millennials are North Dakota, Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota. Get yourself a little house on the prairie!

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