Young adults got rid of substantially more debt than older adults after the Great Recession, according to a new Pew Research study.

From 2007 to 2010, the median debt of households headed by an adult younger than 35 fell 29 percent, compared with an 8 percent drop among  households headed by adults ages 35 and older.

Young adults' debt reduction was driven by owning fewer houses and cars as well as holding a smaller amount of credit card debt. However, many more young adults are burdened by student loan debt after the recession than before; 40 percent held such debt in 2010, up from 34 percent in 2007.