By Carmel Ford
Households paying 30 percent of more in rent, a threshold long used by the federal government to identify “rent-burdened” households, has been a significant housing issue for some time. Nearly half of renter households (48 percent) in the U.S. were rent-burdened in 2015.
The large share of rent-burdened households is a symptom of the broader affordability problem in the housing market. For the last several years, stagnant household incomes, supply-side challenges, such as lot and labor shortages, and government regulations have contributed to the lack of affordable options for renters and buyers.
This analysis takes a look at the geographic distribution of rent-burdened households as well as how age, marriage, and unemployment affect rent-burdens. Analyzing rent-burdened households through these perspectives can provide a more comprehensive picture of the issue at hand.