Student loan debt 2022: Report reveals American states with the most, least debt

FAN Editor

President Biden announced on Wednesday that federal student loan debt for certain borrowers would be canceled. 

Even though the cumulative student loan debt in the U.S. has reached $1.6 trillion, not every state is affected in the same way by student debt.

That’s according to a new report from WalletHub, which found the states – including Washington, D.C. – with the most and least student loan debt.

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For its report, WalletHub compared all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., based on 11 metrics in two categories: “student loan indebtedness” and “grant and student work opportunities.”

Aside from the overall ranking, WalletHub also found how states ranked in a few of the metrics. 

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For example, WalletHub found that South Dakota has the highest proportion of students with debt, while Utah has the lowest. 

Mississippi was found to have the highest student debt as a percentage of income adjusted for cost of living, while Washington, D.C. was found to have the lowest.

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Maryland was found to have the highest unemployment rate for people between the ages of 25 and 34, while Nebraska and Utah tied for the state with the lowest unemployment rate in that age group. 

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Meanwhile, WalletHub found that Hawaii has the highest percentage of student loan balances past due or in default, while New York has the lowest.

To see the overall results, here are the states – including Washington, D.C. – with the most and least student debt in 2022, according to WalletHub. 

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States with the most student loan debt in 2022

Charleston West Virginia student loan debt

West Virginia was found to be the state with the most student debt in 2022, according to WalletHub. Charleston, West Virginia, is pictured.  (iStock / iStock)

1. West Virginia

2. Pennsylvania

3. South Dakota

4. New Hampshire

5. Mississippi

6. Delaware

7. Kentucky

8. Rhode Island

9. South Carolina

10. North Dakota

States with the least student loan debt in 2022

Salt Lake City, Utah least student loan debt

Utah was found to be the state with the least student debt in 2022, according to WalletHub. Salt Lake City, Utah, is pictured.  (iStock / iStock)

42. Nevada

43. Alaska

44. Colorado

45. Wyoming

46. Florida

47. New Mexico

48. Washington

49. California

50 Washington, D.C. 

51. Utah

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