For the first time in the nation’s history, median monthly rents in the United States crossed the $2,000 mark. According to a report from real estate listing site Redfin, the median rent on all apartments listed nationwide rose 15% compared to a year ago. For those millions of Americans who do not have the stability afforded to them through homeownership, rising rent will take a serious financial toll.
Nationwide, 35.6% of housing units are occupied by renters. In 47 of the 50 states, there is at least one county with a higher rental rate.
To determine the county with the highest rental rate in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of the share of housing units that are occupied by renters in U.S. counties and county equivalents from the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.
Young people are far more likely to rent homes than buy. Well over half of all renters in the United States are under the age of 35, whereas that age group accounts for less than 10% of homeowners. Many of the places on this list have such high shares of renters because they have younger populations.
According to the census, 23.2% of Americans are 18-34 years old. In 43 of the 50 counties or county equivalents on this list, that age group accounts for a larger share of the population compared to the state as a whole. In Chattahoochee County, Georgia, which has a rental rate of 75.7%, 55.2% of the population are younger adults, the highest share of any Georgia county and the sixth highest in the country. This is the youngest county in every state.
Population density is also a factor in the share of housing units that are rentals. In highly-urban areas, a large share of residents live in multi-story rental buildings, rather than single-family homes. The U.S. population density is 93.8 people per square mile. The vast majority of the counties on this list have higher population densities relative to their home state, and 20 have population densities in excess of 1,000 people per square mile. Bronx County, New York, which comprises The Bronx borough in New York City, has the highest rental rate in the country and a population density of 34,917 people per square mile, third highest of any U.S. county. The only two American counties with higher population density are neighboring Kings and New York counties, better known as Brooklyn and Manhattan. These are the 50 largest cities in America.
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