The City Where the Highest Share of Homes Are Rented in Every State – 24/7 Wall St.


For the first time in the nation’s history, median monthly rents in the United States crossed the $2,000 mark. According to a report from real estate listing site Redfin, the median rent on all apartments listed nationwide rose 15% compared to a year ago. For those millions of Americans who do not have the stability afforded to them through homeownership, rising rent will take a serious financial toll. 

Nationwide, 35.6% of housing units are occupied by renters. In 37 of the 50 states, there is at least one metro area with a higher rental rate. 

To determine the metro with the highest rental rate in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of the share of housing units that are occupied by renters from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. Three states, Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, have only one metropolitan area, and so the metro area in these states is listed by default. 

Young people are far more likely to rent homes than buy. Well over half of all renters in the United States are under the age of 35, whereas that age group accounts for less than 10% of homeowners. Many of the metropolitan areas on this list have such high shares of renters because they have younger populations. 

According to the census, 23.2% of Americans are 18-34 years old. In all but four of the metro areas on this list, that age group accounts for a larger share of the population compared to the state figure. In the Manhattan, Kansas, metropolitan area, which has the highest rental rate in Kansas, 40.5% of the population are younger adults, the highest share in the state and the third highest in the country. This is the youngest county in every state.

Population density is a factor in the share of housing units that are rentals. In highly-urban areas, a large share of residents live in multi-story rental buildings, rather than single-family homes. The U.S. population density is 93.8 people per square mile. The vast majority of the metro areas on this list have higher population densities relative to their home state, and nine have population densities in excess of 1,000 people per square mile. The Los Angeles metro area, which has the highest rental rate in both the state and the country, has a population density of 2,720 per square mile. These are the 50 largest cities in America.

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