Mapping U.S. Student Debt
Organisation: Washington Center for Equitable Growth (United States)
Publication Date: 04/08/2016
DescriptionA generation ago, student debt was a relative rarity for students and recent graduates, but now, more than 42 million Americans owe a total of $1.3 trillion in student debt. Even though it has become a central part of economic life, researchers still don’t know much about the student debt crisis, largely because the Department of Education does not publish much of the data. The premise of the Mapping Student Debt project is to fill in this gap, providing researchers, advocates, legislators, and the public alike visual access to granular data on student debt from Experian’s Summarized Credit Statistics. Through a series of zip code-level interactive maps, Mapping Student Debt allows viewers to explore the geographic distribution of a variety of student debt variables—like the degrees of average balance or delinquency rate on an outstanding loan across a zip code—and compare them to a collection of community socio-economic indicators. These localized comparisons allow us to tangibly answer questions about what student debt looks like for different groups, communities, and neighborhoods across the United States and its consequences for economic inequality.
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