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Number of renter occupied homes in the U.S. 1975-2019

In 2019, there were approximately 43 million housing units occupied by renters in the United States. This number has remained steady since 2014, but is part of a long-term upward swing since 1975. This is also reflected in the downward trend of residential vacancy rates across the country. This suggests that demand for rental housing is on the rise, and that supply is failing to keep up with it.

Why are rental homes in such high demand?

This high demand for rental homes may be related to the unaffordability of homeownership. Not being able to afford to buy a home was the biggest reason renters gave when asked why they didn’t currently own a home in a recent survey. The monthly costs of homeownership versus rental costs vary by state. In 2018, it was less expensive to rent a home in Hawaii, Washington D.C. and Colorado than it was to buy. However, the opposite was true in California, New York and Louisiana.

Number of renter occupied housing units in the United States from 1975 to 2019

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Release date

March 2020


United States

Survey time period

1975 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Data for previous years taken from previous reports.
Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Apartments in the United States"

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