A total of 43 million Americans were renters in 2016, and of that number 47.7 per cent were cost-burdened, meaning these consumers spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing, a threshold long used by the federal government to identify “rent-burdened” households, according to the US Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey.
Nearly half of renter households (48 per cent) in the US were rent-burdened in 2015.
THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF COST-BURDENED RENTERS: 2017
A total of 43 million Americans were renters in 2016, and of that number 47.7 per cent were cost-burdened, meaning these consumers spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing, according to the US Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey.
US Rent-to-Income Ratio
A recent study from Harvard found that many US households are actually cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than the 30 per cent of income recommendation for housing. As of 2015, nearly 40 million households were reportedly cost-burdened—and 11 million households spend at least half of their rent on housing, according to the report. Those numbers are especially shocking considering how many households there are in the US altogether—according to Census data, there are just under 117 million.
That means that a whopping 34 per cent of households in the US are cost-burdened—and just under 10 per cent of households (and more than a quarter of those who are cost-burdened in the first place) spend at least half of their income on housing, according to Harvard.
While the number of cost-burdened households in the US fell from 2014 to 2015, the drop was only by 2.3 per cent (about 900,000 households). Despite it being a move in a positive direction, the numbers are still staggering.
Demographics of Cost-Burdened Renters
In Renter Cost Burdens by Generation, US Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey examines the generational spread of housing cost burdens, from millennial renters just beginning their professional lives to the growing number of baby boomers downsizing from single-family homes to rental properties. The Madison, WI–based apartment-search firm in its report also shows which MSAs have the largest percentage of cost-burdened renters in each generation and how these burdens affect the quality of life for each age group.