Research Finds More U.S. Households Are Renting than at Any Point in 50 Years
According to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau housing data, more households are headed by renters than at any point since at least 1965. The total number of households in the United States grew by 7.6 million between 2006 and 2016. But over the same period, the number of households headed by owners remained relatively flat, in part because of the lingering effects of the housing crisis.
Meanwhile, the number of households renting their home increased significantly during that span, as did the share, which rose from 31.2 percent of households in 2006 to 36.6 percent in 2016. The current renting level exceeds the recent high of 36.2 percent set in 1986 and 1988, and approaches the rate of 37.0 percent in 1965.
Certain demographic groups such as young adults, nonwhites, and the lesser educated have historically been more likely to rent than others, and rental rates have increased among these groups over the past decade. However, rental rates have also increased among some groups that have traditionally been less likely to rent, including whites and middle-aged adults.
Black and Hispanic households continue to be about twice as likely as white households to rent their homes. In 2016, 58 percent of black household heads and 54 percent of Hispanic household heads were renting their homes, compared with 28 percent of whites. But all major racial and ethnic groups were more likely to rent in 2016 than a decade earlier.
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