Special Report

Missed Housing Payments Are Piling up in Nearly Every State

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35. Nebraska
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 18.8% (total: 179,563)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 41.3% (3rd lowest)
> Median household income: $59,566 (25th lowest)
> June unemployment: 6.7% (7th lowest)

Nebraska’s economy has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic better than most states. The June unemployment rate of 6.7% is the seventh lowest among states and well below the 11.1% national rate. Housing is also relatively affordable in Nebraska as just 41.3% of renters in the state are unduly burdened by housing costs, compared to about half of all renters nationwide.

With a relatively strong job market and affordable housing, Nebraskans are less likely to be delinquent with rent or mortgage payments during the pandemic than most Americans. Just 18.8% of adults in the state have missed, or will soon miss, a monthly housing bill compared to 25.3% of American adults nationwide.

34. North Dakota
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 18.9% (total: 57,957)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 38.5% (the lowest)
> Median household income: $63,837 (18th highest)
> June unemployment: 6.1% (4th lowest)

North Dakota is one of 17 states where fewer than one in every five adults are in a household that could not afford to pay their mortgage or rent this month, or were unlikely to be able to pay for housing next month.

This greater than average likelihood that North Dakota residents will be able to afford housing during the COVID-19 pandemic is partially attributable to several factors. First, workers in the state are less likely to be out of a job today than most U.S. workers, as the June jobless rate stands at 6.1%, well below the 11.1% national rate. Additionally, housing is also relatively affordable in North Dakota, as just 38.5% of renters are housing-cost burdened, compared to about half of all renters nationwide.

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33. Virginia
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 20.2% (total: 913,670)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 48.5% (21st highest)
> Median household income: $72,577 (10th highest)
> June unemployment: 8.4% (20th lowest)

In Virginia, about one in every five adults cannot afford their rent or mortgage during the COVID-19 pandemic, a smaller share than the one in four adults struggling to pay for housing nationwide. Shutdowns related to the pandemic have not affected the pocketbooks of an especially large share of Virginians. Just 42.2% of all adults in the state are in households that have seen a reduction in employment income since mid-March, compared to about half of all adults nationwide.

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32. South Carolina
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 20.4% (total: 502,975)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 48.7% (20th highest)
> Median household income: $52,306 (9th lowest)
> June unemployment: 8.7% (25th lowest)

Across the United States, 25.3% of adults report that they were unable to afford their June housing payments or likely unable to afford their July payments. In South Carolina, just 20.4% of adults report similar financial difficulties.

The relatively strong financial position many South Carolinians are in during the pandemic is likely due in part to the stronger than average labor market. The June unemployment rate in South Carolina stands at 8.7%, considerably lower than the 11.1% national jobless rate.

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31. Alaska
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 20.5% (total: 75,494)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 43.2% (6th lowest)
> Median household income: $74,346 (8th highest)
> June unemployment: 12.4% (11th highest)

Alaska’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas extraction, an industry that has been hit especially hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June, unemployment in the state stood at 12.4%, above the 11.1% national rate. Despite the higher than average unemployment rate, Alaskans are generally better able to continue to afford to make rent and mortgage payments during the pandemic. Only about one in every five adults missed, or will likely soon miss, a monthly housing payment, compared to about one in every four adults nationwide.

The stronger than average financial position many state residents are in could be due in part to the availability of relatively affordable housing in the state. Only 43.2% of renters in Alaska are housing-cost burdened, compared to about half of all renters nationwide.