The Most and Least Affordable Places for American Renters
From AdvisorSmith, October 30, 2019
Housing affordability is an important issue for renters in the United States, and there is wide variability in the affordability of housing throughout the country. In this study, AdvisorSmith examined the least and most affordable counties for renters using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. We ranked the counties by affordability and also segmented our analysis by county population size.
To determine housing affordability, we used the median household income in each county. Our study also used the average household size to create a weighted median rent that was used to calculate the percentage of household income that is spent on rent. We then ranked the counties by the ratio of rent-to-income in 827 U.S. counties.
Besides simply considering the cost of rent, our housing affordability calculation also takes into account the ability of households to earn income that households can use to pay their rent. For the most affordable places, our study highlights counties where it is possible to earn a high salary yet also benefit from low rental costs. Additionally, for the least affordable places, the use of median income shows where households spend a high proportion of their income on rent.
Among the counties, the rent-to-income ratio ranged from as low as 10.9% of household income in Oldham County, KY up to as high as 64.5% of income in the Bronx, NY. The most affordable midsize and large counties tended to be affluent suburbs of large cities in Midwestern states and Pennsylvania. Many of the least affordable small and midsize counties were areas in California, New York City, South Florida, Boston, and Hawaii....
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