CityLab: Who rents their home in America? Here’s what the data says.

CityLab, August 8, 2018: Who rents their home in America? Here’s what the data says.

America is, by and large, a nation of homeowners. Though more than 100 million Americans rent, they’re outnumbered two-to-one by Americans who own their own home, according to data from the U.S. Census.

And that’s nothing new. Americans have had high rates of homeownership for a long time, with only modest changes over the decades.

But the populations of homeowners and renters aren’t flat across the U.S. There’s one major group of Americans who are more likely to rent than own: people in their 20s.

Adults older than 30 are more likely to live in homes they own rather than rent, a likelihood that increases as they get older. Similarly, most children live in homes their parents own—though the youngest children are the most likely to live in rented housing.

Here’s that same graph again, but as percentages instead of raw numbers. Looking at it this way makes clear that, for example, the elderly aren’t drastically more likely to rent—there are just fewer of them.

This trend isn’t very surprising—it takes capital to buy a house, something many 20-somethings lack. And people in their 20s can be more mobile and less likely to be married with children.

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