The 46% of Louisianans who have a debt in collection represent the highest percentage of any state in the country, according to a report issued by The Urban Institute.
Following Louisiana are Texas (44%) and South Carolina (43%).
By contrast, Minnesota (17%), South Dakota (18%), and North Dakota (19%) are the states with the lowest percentage of individuals with a debt in collections.
Nationally, one-in-three people have a debt in collections, according to the report, which analyzed data from a major credit bureau and data from the Census Bureau. Broken out among demographics, about 27% of white individuals have a debt in collections, compared with 45% of non-white individuals. The report breaks out the data on a county-by-county level, showing the percentages of individuals in debt, the amount of debt, what percentage of debt is medical, and the average household income.
For example, in Middlesex County, N.J. (my home county), 16% of residents have a medical debt in collections, the average amount of medical debt is $378, which is a little less than half of the $877 in average debt held by people who live in the county, and 25% of the people around me have at least one debt in collections.
Geographically speaking, counties in the southern and eastern parts of the country tend to have more individuals with debts in collection, while those in the western part of the country tended to have more medical debts in collection.