More Americans are Joining the “Cashless” Economy

In less than a decade, the share of Americans who go “cashless” in a typical week inceased by double digits. Today, roughly 41% of Americans say NONE of their purchases in a typical week are paid for usiong cash, up to 29% in 2018 and 24% three years earlier. Theportion of Americans who say that all or almost all of their purchases are paid for using cash in a typical week has steadily decreased, from 24% in 2015 to 18% by 2018 to 14% in 2022. Still, roughly 59% say that in a typical work week, at least some of their purchases are paid for in cash.

Americans with lower incomes continue to be more reliant on cash than those who have afluent lifesyles. Three in ten Americans whose household income fall below $30,000 a year say that they use cash for all or almost their purchases in a typical week. That share drops to 20% among those with a household earning $30,000 to $49,999 and 6% of those living in households that earn $50,000 or more a year. Even so, growing shares of Americans across income groups are relying less on cash than in previous years. This is especially among the case among the highest earners: Roughly 6 in 10 adults whose annual income is $100,000 or more (59%) say they make none of their typical weeklyt purchases using cash, up from 43% and 36%.

There are also differences by race and ethnicity in cash usage. Roughly a quarter of African-Americans (26%) and (21%) of Hispanic adults say that all their purchases in a typical week pay in cash, compareed with 12 of Whites who say the same.

Even though cash is playing less of a role in people’s weekly purchases, the survey also finds that a majority of Americans do TRY to have cash on hand. About 58% say that they try to make sure that they have some type of cash on hand, while 42% say they do’nt really worry much about whether they have cash on them sincethere are other ways to pay for things. These shares have shifted slightly through the years.

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