Average Personal Savings of Americans
The average savings account balance in the United States was $41,600 in 2019, while the median account balance across the country was only $5,300.
The average and median balances vary depending on age, with older generations having more savings. Individuals under 35 had an average savings of $11,250 and a median balance of $3,240. Those 55 and older had average and median balances of up to $60,410 and $9,300, respectively.
Keep in mind that the average can be heavily skewed by a small percentage of households with large balances. Median, on the other hand, provides a more realistic representation of household savings.
These figures are based on the Federal Reserve’s most recent Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The report, released every three years, tracks the status of U.S. transaction accounts (bank accounts).
MoneyGeek presents facts and figures related to savings by income level, demographic, educational attainment and more. We used data from the Federal Reserve’s 2019 SCF.
The average savings account balance in the U.S. varies depending on income, demographic and generational financial literacy, among other factors. Here are some key points to keep in mind as you work toward excelling in money management.
● American households kept an average of $41,600 in their transaction accounts in 2019. Meanwhile, the median balance was $5,300.
● The personal saving rate in the U.S. is currently at 3.4%. This refers to the average percentage of income Americans set aside for their savings.
● The personal saving rate had a significant increase in 2020, peaking at 33.8% in April due to the pandemic and implementation of lockdown measures. The rate dropped in 2021 and continued to decline in 2022 because of high inflation.
● The top reasons people save are liquidity (38.1%) and retirement (28.4%).
● The cost of savings varies across age groups, with the Boomer Generation, or those 55 and older, having the highest average savings at over $55,000.
● Savings also fluctuates based on family structure. Couples with no children reported the highest average savings of $68,170 and a median of $11,000 in 2019.
● In terms of educational attainment, those with college diplomas tend to have more savings, having around 4x the average savings of those with a high school diploma or some college education.
● A savings disparity can be observed across race and ethnicity. The non-Hispanic White population had almost 4x more than the non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic populations.
● Transaction accounts had an ownership rate of more than 98% in 2019, making them the most commonly held financial asset.
Average Savings of Americans Over Time
The average American household had transaction accounts worth $41,600 in 2019. This is 2.3% lower than the average recorded in 2016. In terms of median values, the 2019 figure of $5,300 is 10.65% higher than the 2016 median balance of $4,790.
Transaction accounts provide account owners with immediate access to cash. They include savings, checking, money market, prepaid debit cards and call accounts. The latest data show that transaction accounts are currently the most commonly held type of financial asset, with a 98% ownership rate.
The average U.S. savings account balance has changed over time. The latest value is significantly higher than the average recorded in 1989 (excluding 2016). Meanwhile, the median amount Americans kept in transaction accounts has been consistently rising since 2010. Overall, the 2019 figure was the second-highest median since 1989.
These figures reflect a disparity in terms of savings. Despite the high average, the median remained in the four-digits. Thus, suggesting that more Americans only have around four-digit amounts in their savings accounts. The households with five-digit savings accounts are outliers.
Savings by Household Income
Household income has a significant impact on savings. Higher-income levels typically increase savings based on the average and median balances. Those with lower incomes generally have further to go in building a substantial savings account.
Average Household Income 2019
2019 Mean Savings
2019 Median Savings
Less than 20
Based on the above table, there is a direct correlation between household income and savings. For instance, the median savings of those earning an average of $15,700 in 2019 is only $810. Meanwhile, those earning an average of $494,600 have a median savings of $70,000. That’s almost a $70,000 difference.
Despite changes in values, the trend has been consistent throughout the years. The highest-earning households, or those in the upper 10%, have always had the most savings.
On the other hand, the personal saving rate has been declining since 2021. After a peak in 2020, it decreased in 2021 and 2022 as the country faced high inflation.
Savings by Net Worth
Households with higher net worth also tend to have more savings. Data showed average and median transaction account balance increasing along with net worth.
Net worth refers to how much a person has. It’s calculated by subtracting liabilities (what you owe) from all assets (what you own).
The rise in household income helps increase net worth. The same can be said when it comes to savings.
Based on the latest data, families with higher net worth accumulated higher savings. Those who fell under the 90–100 percentile had a median balance of $80,000 and an average of $255,200 in savings. Meanwhile, households from the less than 25 percentile category only had a median savings of $900 and an average balance of $2,430.
From 1989 to 2019, American households in lower net worth percentiles typically had fewer savings than households in higher net worth percentiles.
Savings by Age Bracket
Generally, households with older individuals have higher savings account balances than younger families. Individuals aged 65 to 74 had the most savings at $60,410 in 2019. Individuals younger than 35 had the least amount of savings at $11,250.
Survey data supports the idea that older generations are likely to have higher account balances, with a few exceptions. Households with 45 to 54-year-olds had a higher median than those with 55 to 64-year-olds. For average savings, individuals aged 65 to 74 saved more than those 75 years old and older.
With more professional experience under their belts, older individuals generally earn more and save more. Having more time to build their finances puts older individuals in a more secure position to save. Younger individuals, however, may still be burdened with student loan debt.
Savings by Household Structure
Family structure changes household savings. Couples with no children have higher savings. Single-parent households with children have the lowest median savings.
Raising a child comes with many responsibilities. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the estimated cost of raising a child is $233,610 — not considering inflation costs.
Data on transaction accounts show a correlation between household structure and savings. Based on median values, couples with no children have the most savings. Single parents with children have the least savings.
Couples with no children also have the highest average at $68,170, while single parents below the age of 55 with no children have the lowest average at $13,120.
Generally, single-parent households save less than couples. With two people sharing financial responsibilities, couples have more income and support to save.
Savings by Educational Attainment
The average savings increases as the household’s education level increases. College graduates have the highest average savings, while those with no high school diploma have the least. Median values show the same results.
Educational attainment can influence a person’s livelihood, including their skillset, opportunities and earnings. For instance, the median weekly earnings of individuals with a Bachelor’s degree is $1,334. Those with no high school diploma have a median weekly income of $626.
Educational attainment can mean the difference between a healthy savings account and a meager one. Based on household averages, a household with at least one individual who holds a Bachelor's degree has $78,890 in transactional accounts. The average family with no high school diploma is only $9,190. Median saving is also significantly higher for households with college graduates ($15,400) than those with no high school diploma ($1,020).
Savings by College Majors
Mathematics majors are more likely to have the highest savings, with a median of more than $10,000. Business and Engineering majors, Arts and Education students, and Science majors follow them.
Source: One Class Survey
Some college students save more than their peers. According to Study Finds, one in five students have less than $100 dollars in their bank account.
Mathematics majors, including those studying Physics and Statistics, have the highest median savings value of more than $10,000. For Science majors, or those studying Biology, Chemistry, Health Science and Environmental Science, the median amount is $501 to $1,000.
Savings by Race and Ethnicity
Across race and ethnicity, non-Hispanic white Americans generally have the most savings. The median savings for this group is $8,200, while the average is $51,510.
On average, non-Hispanic White Americans have the most savings at $51,510. Non-Hispanic Black Americans, Hispanics and Other populations have $13,270, $11,860 and $43,890, respectively.
Regarding median figures, Non-Hispanic White Americans have the highest median. Non-Hispanic Black Americans have the lowest median of $1,510.
Several factors can influence the difference in savings from household to household. For instance, major factors include income and wealth. The typical non-Hispanic White Household had $184,000 worth of wealth, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Generally, Hispanic families have around $38,000. For the typical non-Hispanic Black family, the median wealth in 2019 was $23,000.
Top Reasons for Saving
There are many advantages to building your savings. For many Americans, it’s a way to ensure a financial safety net during emergencies. Others save to prepare for retirement. Ultimately, it depends on your priorities and needs.
Here are the top reasons why Americans are saving money, as reported in the Federal Reserve’s survey:
Reason for Saving
Percentage of Respondents
For the family
Buying own home
Does not save
No particular reason
Average Savings of Americans FAQ
MoneyGeek answers the most commonly asked questions about savings accounts in the U.S. to help you better understand the different factors affecting the average savings account balance in the U.S.
Expert Insights on Average Savings of Americans
Saving is an important money management step to getting you one step closer to financial freedom. MoneyGeek asked industry leaders for their insight, providing useful information for you to make well-informed financial decisions.
- How can young professionals determine the right percentage of their income to set aside for savings? Is there a recommended amount?
- Is it better to invest or save money if you’re just starting out in the workforce? Why?
- What financial management tips can you share with people who want to grow their savings?
Accredited Financial Counselor and Education Manager at Money Fit by Debt Reduction Services, Inc.
Money-Saving and Finance Expert, Writer and TV Contributor
Financial Expert and Founder of Fluent in Finance
Managing your finances can be challenging, especially as you juggle your responsibilities. Below are some online resources you can explore to become more financially prepared for the future.
- Best Budgeting Tools and Savings Apps: Check out the different tools and resources to help you budget your money and save more. This guide also lists some of the best budgeting tools and apps.
- Financial Literacy Handbook: Expand your knowledge about your finances. Learn about different financial concepts and terms.
- Guide to Budgeting: Start your journey to smart money management. MoneyGeek explores budgeting, how it works and the strategies you might consider.
- Saving for Retirement: Find out how you can start preparing for retirement. MoneyGeek’s page also provides insights on investing and portfolio-building.
- Ways to Reduce Monthly Spending: Get tips on how to reduce your spending and grow your savings.
About Nathan Paulus
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2016 to 2019: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances." Accessed January 28, 2023.
- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. "Has Wealth Inequality in America Changed over Time? Here are Key Statistics." Accessed January 28, 2023.
- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. "Personal Saving Rate." Accessed January 27, 2023.
- Study Finds. "Generation Broke: 1 in 5 College Students Have Less than $100 in the Bank." Accessed February 15, 2023.
- The Federal Reserve. "Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF)." Accessed January 27, 2023.
- U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. "Personal Income and Outlays, November 2022." Accessed January 27, 2023.
- U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. "Personal Saving Rate." Accessed January 28, 2023.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Table 5.1 Unemployment Rates and Earnings by Educational Attainment, 2021." Accessed January 30, 2023.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. "The Cost of Raising a Child." Accessed January 30, 2023.