Only recently have economists begun to connect the student debt crisis to problems in the wider economy, from lack of spending to the slow housing recovery. Now a report from the New York Federal Reserve shows how the debt crisis in turn is rooted in the fallout of the recession.
The report, released Tuesday, details how student debt is distributed by state and which states have the largest numbers of delinquent borrowers. As the maps below show, there are clear regional trends: Borrowers in the best shape reside in relatively wealthy areas around the nation's capital, and the highest average debt loads and the highest rates of delinquency are in low-income states hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis, including Nevada and Florida.
The highest average debt is held by residents of Washington, D.C., with more than $40,000 per borrower, and Maryland, with $28,000. Both also are in the nation's top five for income, and in neither area are residents having much trouble paying back their loans.