Special Report

Counties Where the Fewest People Own Their Homes

Methodology 

To determine the counties and county equivalents with the lowest homeownership rates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of the share of housing units that are occupied by their owners from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

Counties were excluded if homeownership rates were not available in the 2020 ACS, if there were fewer than 1,000 housing units, or if the sampling error associated with a county’s data was deemed too high.

The sampling error was defined as too high if the coefficient of variation — a statistical assessment of how reliable an estimate is — for a county’s homeownership rate was above 15% and greater than two standard deviations above the mean CV for all counties’ homeownership rates. We similarly excluded counties that had a sampling error too high for their population, using the same definition.

Counties were ranked based on the percentage of housing units that are occupied by their owners. To break ties, we used the number of housing units that are occupied by their owners.

Additional information on median home value, median housing costs with and without a mortgage, and median household income are also five-year estimates from the 2020 ACS.

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