Key Traits of American Renters

August 9, 2018
Two women walking down street near a home
Photo: Unsplash/Clarisse Meyer

The share of homeowners is double that of the 100 million renters in the U.S. Twenty-somethings are the most likely to be renters, according to new analysis. 

The trend is tied to the fact that people in their 20s don't have the financial power to buy a home that people aged 30 years or more do. While Baby Boomers were quicker to get into homeownership than are Millennials, the rates of doing so are the same. Explains Minnesota state demographer Susan Brower, "They’re just starting later,” adding, “The whole curve gets shifted to a later period in time.” CityLab reports that by region, urban Americans are more likely to rent at any age than rural residents.

Similarly, lower-income Americans are much more likely to rent than wealthier Americans. Households earning less than $50,000 per year have a homeownership rate of around 45 percent, while nearly 80 percent of households earning more than $50,000 own. In both rich and poor households, renting peaks in one’s 20s and falls steadily afterwards. The difference is that wealthy households are more likely to own than rent at all ages. Lower-income Americans, meanwhile, don’t become majority-homeowners until nearly age 50. 

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