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Average Bank Account Balance in U.S.

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American households have an average bank account balance of $41,600, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances.

In the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. personal savings rate hit a record 33.8%. That rate, which measures the percentage of disposable income people save, plummeted to 5.2% two years later in April 2022 — the lowest since 2009.

Amid the pandemic, government support (including stimulus checks) and limited spending opportunities helped some Americans pad their savings. But that government support has slowed and inflation recently hit a 40-year high, making savings even more impactful.

This MagnifyMoney roundup looks at how much various demographics have in savings and what’s changed (in some cases) from pre-pandemic to now.

Key findings

  • American households have an average bank account balance of $41,600 as of 2019 (the latest available), down 2% from $42,580 in 2016. The median bank account balance for households is $5,300 as of 2019, up 11% from $4,790 in 2016.
  • The U.S. personal savings rate jumped from 13.1% in March 2020 to 33.8% in April 2020, a 158% increase driven by the pandemic. A year later in April 2021, the rate was down to 12.6%. By April 2022, it was 5.2%.
  • Americans generally believe they should have more in their emergency fund than they do. A 2020 MagnifyMoney survey found that 73% of Americans think they should have three to four months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund. But only 55% of adults had saved three months of emergency expenses as of 2020, according to the Federal Reserve.

Average and median bank account balances in U.S. households

The average bank account balance among U.S. households dropped 2% between 2016 and 2019 (the latest available), while the median bank account balance rose 11% in the same period.

Bank accounts, as defined by the Federal Reserve, include:

Here’s a historical breakdown of bank account balances dating to 1989:

Household bank account balances
YearAverage balanceMedian balance
1989$28,850$4,180
1992$24,710$4,110
1995$24,380$3,510
1998$26,440$4,750
2001$35,170$5,690
2004$36,860$5,150
2007$32,720$4,960
2010$38,000$4,120
2013$39,690$4,500
2016$42,580$4,790
2019$41,600$5,300
Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances

Nearly all U.S. households (98.2%) have at least one of these types of bank accounts, but that hasn’t always been the case:

Percentage of households with bank accounts
YearPercentage with bank accounts
198985.6%
199286.9%
199587.4%
199890.7%
200191.4%
200491.3%
200792.1%
201092.5%
201393.2%
201698.0%
201998.2%
Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances

Average and median bank account balances by age

Americans ages 65 to 74 have the largest average bank account balance at $60,410, though it’s Americans 75 and older who have the largest median bank account balance at $9,300.

Here’s a look at the latest 2019 data by age:

Bank account balances (by age)
Less than 3535 to 4445 to 5455 to 6465 to 7475 or older
Average balance$11,250$27,910$48,200$57,670$60,410$55,320
Median balance$3,240$4,710$6,400$5,620$8,000$9,300
% with bank accounts97.6%98.6%98.4%97.9%98.4%98.8%
Source: 2019 data from the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances

Average and median bank account balances by race

White Americans have an average of 334% more in their bank accounts than Hispanics and 288% more than Black Americans. That racial wealth gap carries over to retirement, too.

Here’s a look at the latest data by race:

Bank account balances (by race)
WhiteBlackHispanicOther
Average balance$51,510$13,270$11,860$43,890
Median balance$8,200$1,510$1,950$5,000
% with bank accounts98.8%96.8%95.5%98.8%
Source: 2019 data from the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances

Average and median bank account balances by family structure

Couples without children have an average bank account balance of $68,170, according to the Federal Reserve data. That’s 41% higher than couples with children at $48,480.

Here’s a look at the latest data by family structure:

Bank account balances (by family structure)
Single with child(ren)Single, no child, younger than 55Single, no child, 55 or olderCouple with child(ren)Couple, no child
Average balance$15,930$13,120$27,520$48,480$68,170
Median balance$1,300$3,000$3,200$7,500$11,000
% with bank accounts97.7%96.7%97.2%98.9%99.2%
Source: 2019 data from the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances

Personal savings rate spiked amid pandemic, but it’s now at lowest point since 2009

The personal savings rate — or how much disposable income Americans save — was at 13.1% in March 2020 as the pandemic was underway. The next month, it skyrocketed to 33.8%.

That April, Americans started receiving economic impact payments, or stimulus checks, of up to $1,200 for eligible adults and $500 for qualifying children. A June 2020 MagnifyMoney found the payments significantly helped 39% of Americans with their finances, while another 48% said it helped a little bit. As a result, some Americans in better financial shape were able to supplement their savings accounts.

Amid the possibility of a recession, that personal savings rate has plummeted. Two Aprils later in 2022, the savings rate was down to 5.2% — the lowest since 2009. (It rose slightly in May 2022 to 5.5% before dropping to 5.1% in June.)

What consumers think they should have in emergency savings versus what they have

A MagnifyMoney survey conducted in October 2020 found that 73% of Americans think people should have at least three to four months’ worth of living expenses in their emergency fund.

But a Federal Reserve report from 2020 found that only 55% of adults have three months’ worth of emergency savings, creating a fairly wide gap.

That said, the percentage has risen steadily from 47% in 2015 to 59% in 2021 — a 26% jump.

Percentage of adults with 3 months’ worth of emergency savings
YearPercentage with this amount
201547%
201648%
201750%
201851%
201953%
202055%
202159%
Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking

The rate of adults with this amount of emergency savings is higher in metros (60%) than non-metros (51%) as of 2021.

A closer look at dollar amounts

The October 2020 MagnifyMoney survey noted above found that 42% of Americans had less than $5,000 in their emergency fund.

“A high percentage of consumers don’t have the emergency savings they think they need,” says Ken Tumin, DepositAccounts founder. “This shows that it takes more than just higher income to be financially prepared for unexpected problems.”

Sources

  • Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances
  • U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), via the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) database
  • MagnifyMoney
  • Federal Reserve Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking