united states renter cities

Photo: robert madeira/Flickr

Owning your own home might be a big part of the American Dream, but more Americans are turning to the rental market instead. In late October 2014, the US Commerce Department revealed that home ownership has stalled across the country. In the third quarter, the seasonally adjusted rate dropped to 64.3 per cent, a nearly 20-year low. It’s the lowest home ownership rate the US has seen since the fourth quarter of 1994.

On the ground, home ownership rates differ widely between major cities. On December 4th, the US census department released the American Community Survey 5-year estimates from 2009 to 2013. We mined the data and looked into the 100 most populous cities to see which had the highest percentages of renters.

The result? Big, busy and expensive cities such as New York, San Francisco and Miami are all home to large renter populations. After all, when the median price of owner-occupied housing unit is $744,600, as it is in San Francisco, many would-be home buyers would be forced to rent instead.

However, cities with less robust economies, such as Newark, New Jersey and commuter towns like Jersey City also figured up quite high on the ranking.

To learn more, check out our interactive map and sortable table below to see how the metros compare:


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