Special Report

Missed Housing Payments Are Piling up in Nearly Every State

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30. Rhode Island
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 20.8% (total: 121,869)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 47.1% (20th lowest)
> Median household income: $64,340 (17th highest)
> June unemployment: 12.4% (11th highest)

As is the case in much of the Northeastern United States, residents of Rhode Island are better able to afford housing during the COVID-19 pandemic than most other Americans. About 122,000 people living in Rhode Island, or 20.8% of the adult population, cannot afford to make a monthly rent or mortgage payment, a smaller share than the 25.3% nationwide.

Rhode Island is one of many states where residents are less likely to miss a monthly housing payment during the pandemic where incomes are higher than average. The typical Rhode Island household earns $64,340 a year, slightly more than the national median household income of $61,937

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29. Missouri
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 21.9% (total: 725,828)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 45.8% (15th lowest)
> Median household income: $54,478 (12th lowest)
> June unemployment: 7.9% (15th lowest)

In Missouri, 21.9% of the adult population was unable to afford a housing payment in June, or unlikely to be able to afford it in July. Meanwhile, nationwide 25.3% of adults cannot afford to pay their rent or mortgage.

The greater likelihood that Americans in Missouri are able to afford housing is likely tied to the state’s job market, which has kept a larger than typical share of the population employed during the pandemic. As of June, Missouri’s unemployment rate of 7.9% is considerably lower than the 11.1% national unemployment rate.

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28. Utah
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 23.0% (total: 389,511)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 44.3% (9th lowest)
> Median household income: $71,414 (12th highest)
> June unemployment: 5.1% (2nd lowest)

In Utah, adults are slightly more likely than the typical U.S. adult to have made their last month’s rent or mortgage payment, and have confidence that they will be able to do the same next month. This is likely due in part to the state’s relatively strong economy, which shed far fewer jobs than most states. Only 5.1% of Utah’s labor force was unemployed in June, less than half the 11.1% U.S. unemployment rate.

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27. Oklahoma
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 23.4% (total: 456,446)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 43.6% (8th lowest)
> Median household income: $51,924 (8th lowest)
> June unemployment: 6.6% (6th lowest)

Oklahoma has one of the lower shares of adults who either missed their most recent housing payment or are not confident they will make their next one, at 23.4%. This is likely due in part to the fact that just 43.6% of renters are housing-cost burdened, well below the nationwide rate of 49.7%.

Oklahoma has largely avoided the worst of the economic impact from COVID-19. The state’s unemployment rate for June is 6.6%, lower than all but five other states and well below the national rate of 11.1%. While 49.9% of American adults live in a household in which someone lost employment income since March 13, only 43.3% of Oklahoma adults live in such homes.

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25. North Carolina (tie)
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 23.8% (total: 1.3 million)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 47.8% (25th lowest)
> Median household income: $53,855 (11th lowest)
> June unemployment: 7.6% (14th lowest)

Residents of North Carolina are better able to afford their homes than most Americans — the median cost of a house is 3.4 times the median household income, as compared to a 3.7 cost-to-income ratio nationwide.

The unemployment rate increased just 3.6 percentage points from June 2019 to June 2020, a lower increase than all but seven other states. North Carolina adults were less likely than American adults overall to live in households that either lost employment income since mid-March or expect employment income loss in the next four weeks.