Over the past several years student loan debt has emerged as an issue for many, and in August 2017 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report stating among its findings that approximately 44 million Americans collectively owe a staggering total of more than $1.4 trillion in student debt. Mapping Student Debt is a project that explores the geography of this debt burden and "[shows] how borrowing for college affects the nation, your city, and even your neighborhood, giving a new perspective on the way in which student debt relates to economic inequality." Visitors can examine three zoomable maps, each with several layer options, to get an introductory overview of student debt distribution, see how loan delinquency disproportionately affects minority populations, and learn how student loans relate to problems in the US labor market. Each map is accompanied by explanatory text highlighting particular locations of interest and describing the researchers' methodology, with links to lengthier explanations published elsewhere. Mapping Student Debt began in 2015 as a project of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth in partnership with Generation Progress and Higher Ed, Not Debt, but as of 2018, the project's updates have been made by independent researchers.
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