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- Student loan debt continues to be a huge burden for many Americans.
- Graduates in the Northeast have more debt on average, while those in the Southwest had the least on average.
- Families in the Northeast tend to spend more on college than those in other parts of the country.
Student loan debt continues to be big problem in America.
The national student debt now totals over $1.4 trillion, with the average per graduate in the US at $17,126. Student debt can create obstacles for people wanting to buy a house or start a family after graduation.
But there are differences across states.
The Student Loan Report broke down the average debt per college graduate for the Class of 2016 by state, which you can see in the map below. College graduates in the Northeast tended to have more debt on average, while those in the Southwest had the least on average.
- Andy Kiersz/Business Insider
Graduates from New Hampshire came out with the most debt on average – at $27,167. Graduates from Utah, meanwhile, had the least – at $7,545.
The report looks specifically at the average student debt “per graduate” – and not “per borrower.” That means the number includes the amount of students who graduate debt-free, too.
Notably, families in the Northeast spend about 70% more on college than those in the West, Midwest, and South, which might explain why the average debt per graduate is higher in that part of the country.
A typical family in the Northeast pays $35,431 for college. That’s nearly twice the average amount spent by families in the West – $19,181 – while families in the Midwest and the South pay $21,577 and $20,953, respectively, Business Insider’s Tanza Loudenback previously reported.
The higher price tag is likely a result of student enrollment at four-year private schools. Attendance at these schools is highest among Northeasterners, with 40% selecting a private college, compared to 22% in the Midwest, 19% in the South, and 14% in the West.