100% stacked bar c hart of consumer debt by category in 2008 and 2018, based on Federal Reserve data.

Student Loan Debt Growth

Student loans now account for 11% of US consumer debt, up from 5% in 2008, according to data from the Federal Reserve. The 100% stacked bar chart shows mortgage, student loan, auto, credit card and other debt in 2008 and 2018. Overall consumer debt grew 5%.  Student loans were $627B  in 2008, making up 6% of total consumer debt.  They grew 144% to $1,530B or 11% of total debt.

Auto loans grew 42%.  There were $798B in auto loans in 2008, which was 5% of total debt.   Auto loans of $1,130B were 8% of debt in 2018.

Mortgages made up the biggest debt category.  Mortgages of $10,700B accounted for 80% of 2008 debt.  They declined to $10,144B  in 2018, which was 73% of total debt.

Student Loan 100% Stacked Bar Chart with Data Columns

100% stacked bar c hart of consumer debt by category in 2008 and 2018, based on Federal Reserve data.

How I Created This 100% Stacked Bar Chart

I saw this data in a post from LendingTree.  The data was displayed in two pie charts--one for 2008 and one for 2018.  I found it difficult to compare the data between the pies and thought a 100% stacked bar would highlight the differences between 2008 and 2018 more clearly.  I added a data column to further quantify the changes over the last decade.

Here are the steps to make this chart:

  • download the data from the LendingTree post into Excel
  • arrange the data into the two columns needed for the Mekko Graphics Data Editor. Add an extra data column to display the categories to the right of the chart and add the calculated column for change from 2008 to 2018 as shown here.

chart data sheet

  • add Total Labels (Total and 5%) to the data columns under Bars and Series, Bars tab (as shown below). The line before the total labels will automatically be added to the chart.

Bars and Series Task Pane

  • recolor the series to highlight student loans in red and make other series a neutral gray
  • color the labels for student loans and student loan growth red
  • apply appropriate number formats for segment values, bar totals, and the data columns
  • annotate labels for personal loan, other to appear above bar totals
  • add segment links
  • adjust internal chart margins

Take This Chart and Make it Your Own

Download this 100% stacked bar chart and edit it using Mekko Graphics. See more bar charts in our chart gallery. Here are some other charts that may be of interest to you: