vegas-strip Photo: Anthony Quintano/Flickr

When the 2008 financial crisis sent shockwaves through the US housing market, some lost out more than others.

So, looking at the United States’ Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey from 2006 to 2014, online real estate listing service Trulia has sought to survey the damage by demographic.

Trulia compares what percentage of the population was renting and what share owned at both ends of the sample timeline, further breaking down the data by race, age, income, gender and location.

The hope is to gain insight into how many Americans from a variety of groups have lost out on dreams of home ownership because of the worst period of economic turmoil since the Great Depression, Mark Uh, a Trulia data scientist, explains in a blog post.

Over the eight-year period, Las Vegas, Nevada, saw the biggest boom in tenancy, with the population of renters jumping 9.9 percentage points to 49.4 percent in 2014.

Buffalo, New York, on the other hand, saw the smallest increase in the share of renters: from 2006 to 2014, the share of renters inched upwards 0.2 points to 33.5 percent.

Going beyond geography, Trulia has found adults aged 18 to 34 experienced the most substantial turn towards renting compared to those in the 35-to-54 and 55-and-older groups.

From 2006 to 2014, there was a 9.1-percentage-point increase in the number of 18 to 34 year olds who rented.

“In fact, 71.6 percent of young adults in 2014 were renters rather than homeowners,” according to Uh of Trulia.

Across all three age groups studied, the share of renters had risen in 2014 from what it was in 2006.

When Trulia zoned in on gender, it noticed a greater share of males had moved towards renting over the same period.

There was a 6.4-percentage-point increase in male tenants compared to a 2.6-percentage-point uptick among women.

“However, keep in mind that because we’re looking at the head of households, this may include dual-income households where both a man and woman reside,” Uh explains.

More women were renting to begin with as well, Uh notes. In 2006, the share of female renters was 41.4 percent, compared to 31.8 percent male tenants.

Of all income groups — top, upper-middle, lower-middle, and bottom — the upper-middle class represented the biggest increase in the portion of renters from 2006 to 2014.

Throughout this timeline, there was a 6.3-percentage-point increase in the share of middle-class renters to a total of 33.5 percent.

“While poorer households are generally more likely to rent rather than wealthier households, we surprisingly found higher increases in rental rates among the top and upper-middle income earners,” says Uh.

Among the different ethnicities of renters and owners tracked — which included Asian or Pacific islander, black, Hispanic, multi-racial and white — Hispanics shifted to renting at the highest rate, but not by much.

The share of Hispanics who were renters was 66.1 percent in 2014, up 8.7 percentage points from 2006, edging out the multi-racial group which saw rentership climb 8.5 points over eight years to 56.1 percent in 2014.

“You were more likely to be a renter than not if you were a minority with the exception of Asian and Pacific islanders,” says Uh.

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