Home Ownership Rate Still Historically High Despite Biggest Drop Since 1940

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Census Bureau today released a 2010 Census brief, “Housing Characteristics: 2010,” that shows the homeownership rate is the second highest on record, behind only 2000, since homeownership data collection began in 1890. However, the rate decreased by 1.1 percentage points to 65.1 percent between 2000 and 2010. The decrease is the largest since the period from 1930 to 1940.

The national housing inventory increased by 15.8 million units, or 13.6 percent, from 2000 to 2010. The housing inventory increased in all states during the decade but grew faster in the South and West than in the Midwest and Northeast. The South grew 17.9 percent to 50.0 million units and the West grew 17.3 percent to 28.6 million units. In contrast, the Midwest grew by 9.3 percent to 29.5 million units and the Northeast grew by 6.6 percent to 23.6 million units.

As a percentage of the entire national inventory, more than a third of all owner-occupied homes (38.3 percent) and renter-occupied homes (35.6 percent) were in the South. The homeownership rate in the Midwest was 69.2 percent, followed by the South (66.7 percent), the Northeast (62.2 percent) and the West (60.5 percent). Homeownership rates decreased in each region from 2000 to 2010.

All but one metropolitan area had more homeowners than renters in 2010. With a homeownership rate of 49.5 percent, Manhattan, Kan., was the only metro area where renters outnumbered homeowners. In 2000, five metro areas had more renters than homeowners.

While homeowners were the majority in most of the nation’s metro areas, they were outnumbered by renters in many of the country’s largest cities, including the four most populous cities. This was similar to 2000. In New York, renters made up 69.0 percent of households, followed by Los Angeles (61.8 percent), Chicago (55. 1 percent) and Houston (54.6 percent).

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