Homeownership: biggest fall since Depression
Homeownership rate falls from 66.2 percent to 65.1 percent in the past decade. Homeownership gap between whites and blacks is biggest since 1960.
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In all, nearly 44 percent of all renters in the U.S. are minorities, compared with only 22 percent of homeowners. Broken down by state, minorities make up more than half of all renters in 10 states and the District of Columbia, up from 6 in 2000 — with the new states being New York, New Jersey, Mississippi, Louisiana and New Mexico.Skip to next paragraph
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"There is no doubt that a large part of the white-minority economic divide is reflected in the disproportionate minority representation among the nation's renters," said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution, who analyzed the race data. "The recent financial crises, including large numbers of subprime loans to African Americans, has dramatically widened the white-black homeownership disparity."
Other census findings:
—Homeownership rates decreased in each region of the country over the last decade. Midwesterners were most likely to own a house, at 69.2 percent, followed by Southerners at 66.7 percent, Northeasterners at 62.2 percent and Westerners at 60.5 percent.
—For the fourth census in a row, West Virginia had the highest homeownership rate, at 73.4 percent. The District of Columbia, with its high share of single twenty- and thirty-somethings who rent, had the lowest at 42 percent.
—While homeowners were the majority in most of the nation's metropolitan areas, they were outnumbered by renters in many of the nation's largest cities. They included New York City, where renters made up 69 percent of households, Los Angeles at 61.8 percent, Chicago at 55.1 percent and Houston at 54.6 percent.
By age, the highest ownership rate nationwide is for those 65 and older, about 77.5 percent. Older Americans are more likely to own their homes debt-free and thus be less exposed to the foreclosure crisis. Still, theirhomeownership rate is down slightly from a 2000 peak of 78.1 percent.
Among adults 34 and younger, homeownership was nearly 40 percent, the highest since the mid-1990s. For adults in the 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64 age groups, homeownership rates fell to their lowest since at least 1980.
Peter Francese, founder of American Demographics magazine who is now analyst for the MetLife Mature Market Institute, believes Americans aren't completely giving up on homeownership. He noted millions of young adults are delaying home-buying while they temporarily double-up with their parents, representing pent-up demand for houses that will surface once the job market begins to recover.