Minnesotans have the least amount of serious debt in the country

But it isn't all good news.
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What's happening?

The Urban Institute produced a map of America, down to the county level, showing how many Americans have "debt in collections."

This basically means any debt they have that's "past due," which can stem from credit and unpaid bills. It compiled this map using credit bureau figures and U.S. Census data.

How did Minnesota do?

Really well, as it turns out. While it's bad that anybody is struggling with past-due debt, it only affects 17 percent of Minnesotans – the lowest rate in the country.

Our neighbors in South Dakota and North Dakota are doing well too. Debt collection rates in those states are 18 and 19 percent, respectively.

Minnesota also has the least overdue medical bills, with just 3 percent of residents late on their bill payments.

Either way, fewer Minnesotans are getting in over their heads, and are really good at paying their bills on time.

Is it all good news?

Not completely. One area of concern that the research does flag is that Minnesota has a reasonably high racial disparity when it comes to debt.

While 15 percent of white people in the state are said to have past-due debts, 43 percent of non-white Minnesotans are in the same situation.

This is still lower than non-white debt levels in most other states, but does show that the most debt-hit communities in the state continue to be those of color, a disparity Minnesota has struggled to correct for a while now.

How much do debtors owe?

Minnesotans with overdue debts owe $1,247 on average.

White Minnesotans tend to owe $1,307, which is more than non-white residents who owe $931 on average.

The average owed for overdue medical bills is $342.

Where are debt levels higher in Minnesota?

There are six counties in Minnesota where overdue debt levels are higher than 22 percent.

They are Clearwater and Mahnomen counties (26 and 27 percent debts in collection rate) in the northwest; Todd and Benton counties (both 22 percent) in central Minnesota; and Waseca and Mower counties (23 and 22 percent) in southern Minnesota.

Eighteen percent of residents in Hennepin County, Minnesota's largest county, have overdue debts.

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