One in five global consumers are in credit card debt
November 9th, 2022, Kineree Shah

One in five global consumers are in credit card debt

Credit cards are useful for building credit scores and convenient for making everyday purchases but sometimes they become slippery slopes to unwanted debt if not monitored frequently. According to a new YouGov poll, a fifth of global consumers across 18 markets are in credit card debt.

Tracing the demographics of credit card debtors, about half of them are between the age of 25 and 44. Younger audiences between the age of 18 to 24 and older consumers who are 55 years and above are less likely to be carrying this kind of debt right now. Men are slightly more likely than women to be in debt (22% vs. 18%) but being in full-time work is no protection against accruing credit card debt for either. More than a fifth of those working full-time are in debt (23%), compared to just 15% of those who are not working.

Digging into the data by markets, the North American region sees some high numbers. In the US nearly a quarter of Americans (24%) are in credit debt which may reflect consumers’ struggles to keep up with inflation. In Canada three in 10 are in debt - however the highest percentage comes from Mexico where two in five consumers are mounting up credit card debts.

Coming to Asia, a third of consumers from the UAE are in credit card debt – the most across six Asian markets. According to findings of the UAE government survey published in the National News, nearly half of Abu Dhabi families also owe money on loans. In India a quarter of consumers are in credit card debt. In March 2022 credit card spending in India jumped by 48% to top Rs. 1 trillion. The rise could be associated with the pickup in consumption needs as the pandemic receded. Singapore has the lowest percentage of consumers (11%) who have credit card debt in comparison to other Asian markets.

Among eight European markets, Britain has the highest proportion of consumers that say they are in credit card debt, which may be unsurprising given the cost of living crisis the country is currently facing. In fact, a recent YouGov survey showed that one in four Britons is having to cut back on key essentials. Across 18 markets, France has the lowest level of credit card indebtedness - eight in 10 say they are not in credit card debt.

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YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18 and over in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 513 and 2008 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in August 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus.