Mississippi may be one of the hardest states for millennials, and student loan debt may play a role, according to two studies from personal finance website WalletHub.
Mississippi is among one of the worst states for people with student loan debt, according to a July 2019 study. Mississippi ranked 7th overall in most student debt.
According to the website, the methodology used to calculate ranking was determined by the following:
“WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 12 key measures of indebtedness and earning opportunities. Our data set ranges from average student debt to unemployment rate among the population aged 25 to 34 to share of students with past-due loan balances.”
WalletHub put extra valuation on factors such as share of students with debt, student debts as a share of income, and share of student-loan borrowers aged 50 years and older.
Mississippi has 59.56 points out of 100. It ranked first both in highest percentage of student-loan balances past due or in default and in highest student debt as a percentage of income, adjusted for cost of living. It was third in highest unemployment rate for people aged 25 to 34, and 9th in student-loan indebtedness, according to the study.
According to a September 2018 report from the Institute for College Access and Success, the Mississippi class of 2017 had an average debt of $30,439 with 58 percent of students with debt.
In an earlier WalletHub study in April 2019, Mississippi ranked 49 overall in best states for millennials with a total score of 38.06 out of 100 points. The methodology used looked at five factors: education and health, affordability, quality of life and economic health, all worth 22.5 points, and civic engagement, worth 10 points. The study defined millennials as anyone born between 1981 and 1997.
Mississippi ranked 51 in both lowest average earnings for millennials and highest millennial unemployment rate. They ranked 49 in economic health, 48 for lowest percentage of millennials with health-insurance coverage and 47 in education and health. It ranked 22 in affordability.
According to WalletHub, millennials are disadvantaged because of the following:
“Despite millennials’ trillion-dollar purchasing power and higher educational attainment, they are economically worse off than their parents. Why? The financial crisis remains a big part of the reason. Millennials have come of age and entered the workforce in the shadow of the Great Recession, which has significantly reduced their job prospects and earning potential for decades to come.”