Special Report

Missed Housing Payments Are Piling up in Nearly Every State

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25. Illinois (tie)
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 23.8% (total: 1.5 million)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 47.4% (22nd lowest)
> Median household income: $65,030 (15th highest)
> June unemployment: 14.6% (7th highest)

In a tie with North Carolina, just under 24% of Illinois residents either missed their most recent housing payment or lack confidence they will make their next one, as compared to more than 25% of Americans in that situation.

Illinois has the seventh highest June 2020 unemployment rate, at 14.6%. Despite this, residents have a more optimistic outlook for their financial future than most. Just 24.1% predict someone in their household will lose employment income in the next four weeks, the third lowest share of any state. For comparison 34.9% of Americans expect a member of their household to lose employment income during that time.

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24. Indiana
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 24.0% (total: 824,351)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 46.6% (18th lowest)
> Median household income: $55,746 (17th lowest)
> June unemployment: 11.2% (14th highest)

Indiana’s job market has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic — 26.3% of the state’s labor force filed for unemployment between mid-March and July 11 and its June 2020 unemployment rate of 11.2% is the 14th highest among states. Yet Indiana adults are less likely to struggle to meet housing payments that the typical American. This is due in part to Indiana’s relatively low rent, at an average of $203 per month, and the state’s inexpensive homes, with a median value of $147,300. That home value is just 2.6 times the state’s median household income, the second lowest home value-to-income ratio of all states.

While 25.3% of American adults either missed their most recent housing payment or are not confident they will make the next one, only 24.0% of Indiana adults were in a similar financial bind.

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23. Wyoming
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 24.1% (total: 72,106)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 41.5% (4th lowest)
> Median household income: $61,584 (20th highest)
> June unemployment: 7.6% (14th lowest)

Of all adults in Wyoming, 24.1% either missed their most recent housing payment or are not confident they will make their next one. The state has fared better than the U.S. overall in that respect, as more than a quarter of Americans are struggling to meet their housing obligations.

Wyoming has among the lowest rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths of any state, and its economy has not been as heavily impacted. It is one of just six states in which less than 20% of its labor force filed for unemployment from March 15 to July 11.

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22. Iowa
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 24.2% (total: 356,236)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 42.4% (5th lowest)
> Median household income: $59,955 (25th highest)
> June unemployment: 8.0% (18th lowest)

Iowa residents have largely been spared from the worst of the economic fallout from COVID-19. Just 39.0% of Iowa adults live in a household that has suffered a loss in employment income since March 13, the second lowest share among states and well below the 49.9% rate nationwide.

Iowa homeowners are better able to afford housing than those in any other state. Iowa’s median home value is just 2.5 times the state’s median household income of nearly $60,000 — the lowest ratio of all 50 states. Renters are also less likely to struggle to make housing payments, as just 42.4% of rental units are housing-cost burdened, a lower share than all but four other states. These conditions have likely contributed to the fact that Iowa residents are more likely to be able to make their monthly housing payments on time.

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21. Ohio
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 24.3% (total: 1.5 million)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 44.4% (11th lowest)
> Median household income: $56,111 (18th lowest)
> June unemployment: 10.9% (16th highest)

In Ohio, 24.3% of adults either missed their most recent housing payment or are not confident they will be able to make their next one, one percentage point lower than the rate nationwide.

Ohio residents are better able to afford their housing payments than those in almost every other state. The median home cost is just 2.7 times the state’s median household income — just two states have a lower ratio.