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Americans Are Taking On Just as Much Debt This Holiday

Image Credit: Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Compared to the same survey CivicScience ran in 2018, just as many Americans plan to take on some form of debt to buy gifts this holiday. Based on the 2019 survey of 2,500 U.S. Adults, 9% know they will take on debt, and another 7% aren’t sure.

Why might consumers be taking on debt? They are the most likely group to say they will spend more on gifts this year by a large margin.

Playing into certain stereotypes (and also past sound research) Gen Z, Millennials, and young Gen Xers are the most likely to say they will use debt to fund their holiday shopping. It’s notable that Millennials and Gen Xers are also the most likely to say “not sure.”

As always, politics matters (to a point). Democrats are the most likely to be taking on debt this holiday (making up 42% of the group), and it looks like political Independents are the most likely to spend within their means.

Perhaps it’s the age or perhaps it’s the ease, most people who plan to take on debt are also most likely to do over half of their holiday gift buying online.


And lastly, those who are taking on debt, to no surprise, are the least concerned about the economy right now.

This all comes as no surprise as the CivicScience-Microsoft ESI shows a continued uptick in consumer’s economic sentiment. Shoppers will shop, going into debt or not, just the same as they did last year. This shows an undeniable bout of consumer confidence at the end of the day.

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