Forbes wanted to know which states had the highest average balances per household in May, so they took the total amount of debt in 50 major metropolitan areas, divided that by the number of households, then divided that by the median household income for that area for May. Here are some of their results.
Consider the residents of Miami, Fla. The metropolis has fully felt the effects of the real estate crash, including a 12% decrease in hotel occupancy for the first quarter of 2009, an increase in unemployment to 8.5% in March 2009 and a 9% year-over-year increase in foreclosures for April 2009. Yet, on average, Miamians owe more of their personal income to credit card companies than those in any other area of the U.S.
While the median household income is a moderate $43,333—the national average is $50,233—average credit card debt in each home is $9,797.38. That means to pay off outstanding credit card bills, debtors would have to forgo 22.61% of their incomes.
Other areas where Americans continue to spend far more than they earn include Tampa, Fla., where the average household owes 17.1% of its total income; Los Angeles, where it’s 16.81%; Jacksonville, Fla., which owes 16.38% on average; and Orlando, Fla., indebted by 16.37%.
Other cities with higher than average debt ratios are Austin, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and Cleveland.