The Most Debt-Ridden Cities in America

Drowning in Debt

When it comes to consumer debt, many of us are swimming deep in the red. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans’ outstanding revolving credit, which includes credit card debt, was a staggering $801 billion in December. And a Bankrate.com survey released this week reports that one in four Americans has more credit card debt than emergency savings. The nation’s credit problem becomes even more real when you break down the data by location. Credit reporting agency Equifax did just that, providing us with the top 10 most debt-ridden U.S. cities based on which cities’ residents owed the highest proportion of their average yearly income to credit card companies in the fourth quarter of 2011. The metro areas included in the rankings are defined by geographical standards set by the Office of Management and Budget. Read on for the full list, and if any of the results surprise you, let us know in the comments section below. Photo Credit: Getty Images


10th-Most Debt-Ridden City: Montgomery, Ala.

Median household income: $37,964 Number of households: 147,538 Total credit card debt: $572,599,585 Average credit card debt per household: $3,881 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 10.22% Photo Credit: Mark Brennan


9th-Most Debt-Ridden City: Anchorage, Alaska

Median household income: $68,468 Number of households: 143,298 Total credit card debt: $1,005,210,188 Average credit card debt per household: $7,015 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 10.25% Photo Credit: AlaskaDude


8th-Most Debt-Ridden City: Honolulu 

Median household income: $62,549 Number of households: 316,589 Total credit card debt: $2,034,056,759 Average credit card debt per household: $6,425 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 10.27% Photo Credit: Magnus Brath


7th-Most Debt-Ridden City: Scranton--Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Median household income: $43,413 Number of households: 230,247 Total credit card debt: $1,031,781,014 Average credit card debt per household: $4,481 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 10.32% Photo Credit: Dougtone


6th-Most Debt-Ridden City: Lake County-Kenosha County, Ill.-Wis.

Median household income: $67,049 Number of households: 312,732 Total credit card debt: $2,167,600,930 Average credit card debt per household: $6,931 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 10.34% *Editor’s note: These two counties are considered a metro area by the Office of Management and Budget for the purpose of collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics. Photo Credit: Richie Diesterheft


5th-Most Debt-Ridden City: Colorado Springs, Colo.

Median household income: $54,398 Number of households: 254,066 Total credit card debt: $1,450,099,898 Average credit card debt per household: $5,708 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 10.49% Photo Credit: Bob Hall


4th-Most Debt-Ridden City: Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla.

Median household income: $46,674 Number of households: 880,305 Total credit card debt: $4,314,530,744 Average credit card debt per household: $4,901 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 10.5% Photo Credit: Infrogmation


3rd-Most Debt-Ridden City: Fayetteville, N.C.

Median household income: $41,325 Number of households: 140,597 Total credit card debt: $613,113,156 Average credit card debt per household: $4,361 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 10.55% Photo Credit: cityoffayetteville.org


2nd-Most Debt-Ridden City: El Paso, Texas

Median household income: $37,869 Number of households: 265,305 Total credit card debt: $1,093,753,374 Average credit card debt per household: $4,123 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 10.89% Photo Credit: Drew Avery


Most Debt-Ridden City: Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.

Median household income: $52,023 Number of households: 639,861 Total credit card debt: $3,826,506,273 Average credit card debt per household: $5,980 Percent of income owed to credit card companies: 11.5% Photo Credit: Nannette Turner


The Richest Counties in America

You now know where those most plagued with credit card debt live, but where does America’s wealthiest reside? Find out in MainStreet’s roundup of the richest counties in America! Photo Credit: Felix Dance


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Kristin Colella is a writer/editor for MainStreet. You can follow her on Twitter at @KrisColella. And if you haven't already, now is a great time to follow MainStreet itself on Twitter. You'll get all of our most important stories, right as they publish. Follow us @mainstr! Photo Credit: clevercupcakes


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