American households had an average bank account balance of $41,600 in 2019, according to data from the Federal Reserve. The median bank account balance is $5,300 according to the same data. Bank account balances in this analysis include checking, savings, and money market accounts held by American households.
The median bank account balance provides a clearer picture of the savings of American households because the average balances are heavily influenced by outliers at the top end that have large balances. Additionally, as we explore in this study, the average bank account balance varies widely based upon other factors such as income, age, race and ethnicity, education, and employment status.
|Year||Median Household Bank Balances||Average Household Bank Balances|
Average Bank Account Balance by Income
Income is the strongest predictor of bank account balance, with Americans in the top decile of income having average bank account balances over 27 times higher than Americans in the lowest quintile. Having more income makes it easier to save money and therefore has a direct correlation with the amount of the average bank account balance.
|Income Percentile||Median Bank Account Balance||Average Bank Account Balance|
|20th to 39.9th||$2,050||$11,260|
|40th to 59.9th||$4,320||$16,390|
|60th to 79.9th||$10,000||$28,680|
|80 to 89.9th||$20,000||$51,840|
|90th to 100th||$70,000||$229,030|
Americans in the 0 to 20th percentile incomes had an average bank account balance of $8,400. The next quintile, Americans in the 20th to 40th percentile incomes had an average bank account balance of $11,260. The third quintile, of Americans in the 40th to 60th percentile, had average bank account balances of $16,390. The next quintile, Americans in the 60th to 80th percentile, had average bank account balances of $51,840. The second highest decile, of Americans in the 80th to 90th percentile, had average bank account balances of $51,840. The richest Americans, at the 90th percentile or above, had average bank account balances of $229,030.
Average Bank Account Balance by Age
Age has a strong correlation with bank account balances, as the accumulation of time gives people the ability to build their savings. The average bank account balance rises with age, peaking in the 65-74 age range, before declining for those 75 and older as they deplete their funds in retirement.
|Age Group||Median Bank Account Balance||Average Bank Account Balance|
The average bank account balance for people under age 35 is $11,250. For people aged 35-44, the average bank account balance is $27,910. For the age group 45-54, the average bank account balance is $48,200. Bank account balances continue to rise with age, with the average balance for those aged 55-64 being $57,670. Bank account balances peak for those aged 65-74, with the average bank account balance for this age group being $60,410. For the oldest Americans, age 75 or older, the average bank account balance is $55,320.
Average Bank Account Balance by Race and Ethnicity
Bank account balances varied widely based upon race and ethnicity, with Black and Hispanic households having substantially lower average bank account balances than White and those classified as “other or multiple race.” The “other or multiple race group” included Asian Americans, Indigenous Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islander Americans, and those identifying as more than one race.
|Race / Ethnicity||Median Bank Account Balance||Average Bank Account Balance|
The average bank account balance for Black or African Americans is $13,270. The average bank account balance for White Americans is $51,500, while the average bank account balance for Hispanic Americans is $11,860. The average bank account balance for “other or multiple race” Americans is $43,890.
Average Bank Account Balance by Education
Education has a direct correlation to earnings, and by extension, to the ability to save. Especially in the United States’ knowledge-based economy, the rewards for completing college are substantial. According to Federal Reserve data, the average bank balance for a college graduate is $78,890. The median bank balance for a college graduate is $15,400.
|Educational Attainment||Median Bank Account Balance||Average Bank Account Balance|
|No high school diploma||$1,020||$9,190|
|High school diploma||$2,500||$20,100|
The average bank account balance for college graduates was almost four times higher than the average bank account balance for high school graduates. For high school graduates, the average bank account balance was $20,100. For people without a high school diploma, the average bank account balance was $9,190.
Average Bank Account Balance by Employment Status
The Federal Reserve’s data shows that self-employed workers have the highest median and average bank account balances, followed by retired people, and then employees. Those who are not working but not retired have the lowest balances. The average bank account balance for self-employed people is $99,700, and the median bank account balance for self-employed people is $14,000.
The average bank account balance for retired people was $41,840, and the median bank balance for retirees was $4,500. Employed people had an average bank balance of $31,160, and a median bank balance of $5,300.
|Employment Status||Median Bank Account Balance||Average Bank Account Balance|
|Other not working||$1,730||$33,210|
Self-employed people have the highest balances for several primary reasons. As small business owners, self-employed people may benefit from earning the full profits on their work which allows them to build up their savings, as opposed to employees, whose profits go to their employers. Additionally, some self-employed people may use their personal bank accounts to hold their business funds or take out personal loans to fund their business. Finally, self-employed people may keep more of their money in a liquid form to guard against the uncertainties of contracts or work suddenly drying up.
Our data was provided by the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances. This data set, which reflects 2019 as the most recently reported year, is a survey conducted every three years by the Federal Reserve Board. This survey examines the family finances of a representative group of approximately 6,500 randomly selected families.
We examined some of the survey responses for the average household bank account balances for U.S. households across varying demographics. This data included the mean and median household bank account balances, which included amounts held in checking, savings, money market, and other cash equivalent accounts. We also examined the mean and median by income percentile, age, race and ethnicity, educational attainment, and employment status.
- Federal Reserve Board, Survey of Consumer Finances, 2019