Thursday, October 06, 2011

Biggest Decline in Homeownership since the Great Depression

The Census Bureau announced today that the 1.1 percentage point decline in the nation's homeownership rate between 2000 (66.2 percent) and 2010 (65.1 percent) was the largest since the 4.2 percentage point decline that occurred between 1930 and 1940--in other words, during the Great Depression. Despite the decline, the Census Bureau noted that the homeownership rate in the United States was the second highest on record, behind only the rate of 2000.

Here's the thing, however: The homeownership rate in 2010 should have been the highest on record, given the demographics. Homeownership peaks among older Americans, and the population has never been older (median age, 37.2 in 2010). The decline in the homeownership rate despite the aging of the population shows just how far we have fallen off track.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Characteristics: 2010

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