With the exception being mortgages, student loans make up the largest component of household debt for Americans. And our collective debt keeps growing.

At the end of the first quarter of 2018, total outstanding college-loan balances disclosed on credit reports stood at $1.41 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The numbers-crunchers at personal finance website WalletHub decided to take a look at states where student-loan debt is more or less than others. Here's what they looked at to make their determinations:

With student-loan debtors in mind, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 11 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.


First, the 5 states with the biggest share of student debt:

1) South Dakota

2) West Virginia

3) Pennsylvania

4) New Hampshire

5) Ohio

Next, the 5 with the lowest share:

47) Washington

48) California

49) Wyoming

50) Hawaii

51) Utah


As for Illinois, we're near the middle of the pack at #23. However, that's the lowest number in the Midwest.

As for our Midwestern neighbors, Wisconsin is at #15, Michigan is #7, while Minnesota is #8, and Iowa comes in at #9. Indiana is at #10, and Kentucky is #11.

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