With the economy in shambles, everyone seems to be strapped for cash. The recession has affected all Americans, so it is a wonder that people living in the northeast are half as likely to take out a payday loan as the rest of the country. Only 3% of north-easterners have taken out such a loan, while the rest of the country has a rate of about 6-7%. Although this may seem quizzical, there are several factors that may be responsible for these statistics.
The first and most important reason that people in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions of America are less likely to take out a payday loan is the law regarding such loans in this area. Of the thirteen states where these businesses are illegal or severely limited, seven are in the northeast. This is a significant portion of the nine states that compromise this region. It is no wonder that the numbers are what they are, as these services are illegal in over 75% of the area. However, this may not be the only contributing factor. Even in states where payday loan offices are illegal, people are usually able to bypass these laws by opting for an online transaction instead, which are often subject only to federal regulations rather than state restrictions. Thus, there are likely other determinants that also play a role in these statistics.
The northeast has historically been a place of higher education. It is home to some of the most exclusive universities in America and the world, including MIT, Harvard, Princeton, and several other world-renown centers of learning. It is probably safe to bet, then, that the northeast is one of the most educated regions on the planet. Education is a very large factor in the likelihood of taking out a loan - the higher level of education one has, the less likely they are to make a withdrawal. In an area of such high education, it is no wonder that the number of payday loans is so low. As the Mid-Atlantic and New England host so many university students, staff, and faculty, the need for these services is much lower than other regions of the country, where the number and density of universities is significantly less.
Another reason that the Northeast may have less of a need for payday lenders is the amount of money going through the area. New York, Philadelphia, and Boston are all major financial hubs which host many important fiscal institutions, the most famous and crucial of these being Wall Street. The region is one of the most monetarily influential centers in the world, and without a doubt the most influential in the U.S. It has given rise to several socially prominent, or 'blue blood' families, which in turn employ several thousand people in these states. The area is predominantly white collar, with business playing a primary role in the economy. In contrast, the rest of the country, with the exception of a few major cities like Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Seattle, have a large portion of their economy based on agriculture and other blue collar professions, which generally pay less. Thus, workers in the rest of the country may simply have a greater need for quick cash than those in the northeast do, leading to a greater number of payday loans being taken out.