Massachusetts Financial Literacy Statistics

Across the Bay State, the Massachusetts Financial Educators Council conducts research and gathers current data ongoing regarding the financial health of Massachusetts residents. On this webpage you will find Massachusetts financial literacy statistics that are updated regularly to serve as a resource to researchers, policymakers, nonprofit organizations, and interested individuals. The overall objective is to provide information that supports advocacy for promoting financial wellness across Massachusetts and nationwide.

Cost of Financial Illiteracy Survey

Massachusetts reports that a lack of financial knowledge carries a high cost, according to this 2021 survey. Participants across the state responded to the single question: “During the past year (2021), about how much money do you think you lost because you lacked knowledge about personal finances?” The results are shown below. Interestingly, almost 9% of survey respondents believed they had lost $10,000 or more in the past year due to financial illiteracy (percentages are rounded).

Cost of Financial Illiteracy

$0 – $499


$500 – $999


$1,000 – $2,499


$2,500 – $9,999


$10,000 +


The organization Feeding America estimates food insecurity among Americans by state, county, and community. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as lacking access to enough food to live an active, healthy life. According to their latest (2021) data, the food insecure population in Massachusetts represents 564,030 people, or 8.1% of the state population. Yet only 42% of those people are eligible to receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), leaving a substantial gap in assistance for needy families.

In addition, the Center for Economic Policy and Research estimates that 17.17% of Massachusetts residents are experiencing housing hardship as of 2021, the date of its latest report. The organization defines housing insecurity as suffering from a range of housing issues including lack of affordability, low quality, and unsafe living conditions; or even housing loss/homelessness. In Massachusetts, current data suggest that nearly 18% of homeowners are likely to have mortgages foreclosed and over 40% of renters are facing eviction.

Food and Housing Insecurity in Massachusetts

Financial Situation Data

Debt Load Rates

As of 2022, the average total consumer debt (all sources combined) in Massachusetts was $124,949, up 3.8% from the previous year.

Breaking that figure down for Massachusettsans, in 2022 the average credit card balance was $6,046 (up 15.5% from 2021); the average auto loan balance was $18,205; and the average home mortgage balance was $294,437. As of 2021, the outstanding student loan debt average in the state was $39,839.

Average Massachusetts Consumer Debt

Personal Credit Score

In terms of personal credit score, credit bureau Experian ranks the Massachusetts average FICO® score at 732 in 2022, 18 points above the national average of 714. Similarly for VantageScore® calculations, Equifax found in 2021 that the average credit score among Massachusettsans was 720, 22 points above the national average (698).

The median credit scores of five mid- to large-sized Massachusetts cities according to WalletHub are shown at right.

Average Massachusetts Credit Score
Median Credit Scores Among Major Massachusetts Cities

Massachusetts Financial Literacy Legislation & Educational Stats

The Common Core of Data (CCD) is an annual evaluation conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education that summarizes educational statistics by U.S. state. According to the CCD for the 2021-2022 school year, the Bay State had 1,847 operating schools – about 1.8% of the national total (99,271) – across 426 school districts. Massachusetts had 921,180 K-12 students and 76,329 teachers, for a very favorable pupil-to-teacher ratio of 12.1.

Legislation passed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2019 established a set of statewide goals for all public elementary and secondary schools in the commonwealth, one of which concerned financial education. Bills specifically establishing a personal financial literacy curriculum in schools have been introduced for discussion every year since 2015, yet to date no such legislation has been passed.

Cai JY, Fremstad S, & Kalkat S (2021). Housing insecurity by race and place during the pandemic. Center for Economic Policy and Research,

Equifax (2021). What is the average credit score by state?

Feeding America (2021), Hunger in Massachusetts.,

Horymski C (2023). Average consumer debt levels increase in 2022.,

Horymski C (2023). Average credit card balances up 13.2% to $5,910 in 2022.,

Horymski C (2022). Auto loan debt reaches a record-high $1.43 trillion.,

Horymski C (2022). Student loan balances barely budge in 2021.,

Horymski C (2023). Total mortgage debt increases to $11.2 trillion in 2022.,

Horymski C (2023). Credit scores steady as consumer debt balances rise in 2022.,

National Center for Education Statistics (2022). Common Core of Data: America’s Public Schools,

The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2022). An Act Establishing a Personal Financial Literacy Curriculum in Schools,

Financial literacy test statistics in Massachusetts,