Special Report

The City With the Highest Rental Rate in Every State

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 every state, there is at least one city with a higher rental rate. 

To determine the city 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. cities from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. Cities are defined as having populations of at least 25,000.

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 cities 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 all but one of the cities on this list, that age group accounts for a larger share of the population compared to the national value and the respective state figure. In State College, Pennsylvania, which has the highest rental rate among Pennsylvania cities, an estimated 73.0% of the population are  younger adults. State College is home to the main campus of Penn State University. A number of other cities on this list are home to college campuses. This is the youngest county in every state.

Population density is also/another 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 cities on this list have higher population densities relative to their home state, and all but two have population densities in excess of 1,000 people per square mile. West Hollywood, California, which has the highest rental rate in the state and the third-highest in the country, has a population density of 18,939 per square mile. These are the 50 largest cities in America.

Click here to see the city with the highest rental rate in every state.

Click here to see our detailed methodology.

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