Renters Are a Growing Segment of U.S. Households
According to an analysis of Census data by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the proportion of renters among U.S. households has increased steadily in recent months.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, there were an estimated 632,000 more renter households in the U.S. than during the same period a year before. In the same period, the number of homeowner households grew by 344,000. Thus, the proportion of renters in the U.S. rose to 32.5 percent from 32.2 percent the year before, the highest proportion of renters since the third quarter of 2000.
The rental vacancy rate was highest in the South (13.1 percent) and Midwest (10.5 percent), and lowest in the West (8.4 percent) and the Northeast (6.3 percent). The rental vacancy rate in the West was higher than in the fourth quarter of 2007, while the rates in other regions were not statistically different from their respective rates a year ago.