Citing data from the most recent American Community Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau says over 19 million U.S. renter households spent more than 30% of their income on housing costs in 2021. The ACS says households are considered cost burdened when they spend more than 30% of their income on rent, mortgage and other housing needs. Data shows that the burden was especially high in some of the nation’s largest counties where housing is more expensive or in areas where incomes are low.
The chart featured below (click on it to make it interactive) maps housing cost ratios by state & county across the U.S. There is a lot of interesting data to unpack in this report.
Some key findings:
- In 239 or 7.6% of the nation’s 3,143 counties, more than half of renter households that paid rent and had a household income faced housing cost burdens.
- Homeowners in only 18 counties – less than half a percent of all counties – had a higher housing cost ratio than renters.
- Areas where renters were cost burdened the most were not always the same areas where homeowners faced the highest costs.
- Homeowners in most of the country had a lower median cost burden than renters.