Friday, March 30, 2018

He Said She Said

Who is the most financially knowledgeable person in your household? Married couples were asked this question in FINRA's 2015 National Financial Capability Study, and the results reveal disagreement over who is top dog—especially among Millennials.

The 53 percent majority of Millennial wives say they are the most financially knowledgeable person in their household. But so do 72 percent of Millennial husbands...

Percent of wives (and husbands) who say they are the most financially knowledgeable person
Millennials: 53% (72%)
Gen Xers: 48% (68%)
Boomers: 40% (65%)

Despite evidence of potential marital conflict, there is plenty of good news in the FINRA report. Financial confidence is rising among Millennial and Gen X women. The percentage of Millennial wives who regard themselves as the most financially knowledgeable person in their household was a lower 47 percent when FINRA first asked the question in 2009. Gen X wives, too, are feeling more confident. Only 42 percent regarded themselves as the most knowledgeable person in their household in 2009. Among Boomer wives, the level of confidence was the same in 2015 as in 2009.

Source: FINRA, Gender, Generation and Financial Knowledge: A Six Year Perspective

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Case Study of Technological Whiplash

In 2005 the Bureau of Labor Statistics added a category to the Consumer Expenditure Survey—personal digital audio players. The phenomenal success of Apple's iPod demanded a new expenditure category, and four years after the iPod's introduction in 2001 it took its place in the survey. Alas, it was too late to capture the full arc of spending on new technology in an era of innovation—from zero to THE BIG THING and back to zero.

The first year in which personal digital audio players were included in the Consumer Expenditure Survey was 2005. But 2006 was the first full year of data collection—one year before the category was blown to smithereens by the introduction of the iPhone. The first full year of data collection was also the apparent peak year of household spending on personal digital audio players...

Average household spending on personal digital audio players, 2006 to 2016 (in 2016$)
2006: $20.73 (first full year of data collection and peak spending)
2007: $20.13
2008: $15.12
2009: $14.55
2010: $12.57
2011: $10.98
2012:   $7.75
2013:   $4.87
2014:   $3.07
2015:   $1.83
2016:   $1.76

Average household spending on personal digital audio players fell 92 percent between 2006 and 2016, after adjusting for inflation.

The average household spent more on iPods and their kin in 2006 than it did on a number of other entertainment categories, including bicycles, musical instruments, camping equipment, winter sports equipment, and streamed and downloaded audio and video. By 2016, spending on personal digital audio players was one of the smallest items in the entertainment category.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Consumer Expenditure Surveys

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

26% of Low-Income Full-time Workers Are Uninsured

Many low-income workers with full-time jobs are uninsured, according to a study by Jessica A Carson of the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy. The study defines low-income workers as those with household incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level—or an income below about $25,000 for a single person and below about $49,000 for a family with two adults and two children.

Among low-income full-time year-round workers aged 25 to 64, a substantial 26 percent were not covered by health insurance at any time in 2016 versus only 8 percent of their counterparts with higher incomes. Just 33 percent of the low-income workers were covered by their employer's health insurance plan versus the 57 percent majority of those with higher incomes.

When low-income workers were asked why they did not have health insurance through their employer, the largest share—40 percent—said their employer does not offer health insurance. Among higher-income workers, only 18 percent work for an employer who does not offer insurance. Other reasons given by low-income workers for not signing for employer-provided health insurance were cost and ineligibility—they worked too few hours, they were a temporary or contract employee, or they hadn't been on the job long enough.

"As changes to health insurance policy continue to evolve," the report concludes, "it is critical to keep in mind that full-time employment isn't necessarily a ticket to health insurance, and that access to employer-based health insurance is stratified by income and industry."

Source: University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy, Full-Time Employment Not Always a Ticket to Health Insurance

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Baby Bust Is Hurting Rural America

Forty percent of the nation's 3,000-plus counties have experienced more deaths than births since 2010, according to the Census Bureau's latest county population estimates. The aging of the population (more deaths), drug overdoses (more deaths), and the ongoing baby bust (fewer births) has resulted in negative natural increase (births minus deaths) in huge swaths of the country.

Rural areas have been hit particularly hard by the one-two punch of more deaths and fewer births. Negative natural increase is a big reason for the population decline in many rural counties. Nearly half or more of the counties ranking 6, 7, 8, and 9 on the Rural-Urban Continuum experienced more deaths than births in the 2010-to-2017 time period.

The Rural-Urban Continuum (RUC) is the federal government's way of classifying counties by their degree of urbanity. The continuum is a scale ranging from 1 (the most urban counties, in metropolitan areas of 1 million or more) to 9 (the most rural counties, lacking any settlements of 2,500 or more people and not adjacent to a metropolitan area). If you sort the nation's 3,000-plus counties by their rank on the continuum, then measure the percentage of counties in each rank in which deaths outnumbered births from 2010 to 2017, this is the result...

Percent of counties with more deaths than births by RUC rank, 2010-2017

1. 13.2% of counties in metros with 1 million or more people
2. 26.7% of counties in metros of 250,000 to 1 million people
3. 27.5% of counties in metros with less than 250,000 people
4. 34.1% of nonmetro counties with urban pop of 20,000-plus, adjacent to metro
5. 23.9% of nonmetro counties with urban pop of 20,000-plus, not adjacent to metro
6. 48.6% of nonmetro counties with urban pop of 2,500–19,999, adjacent to metro
7. 48.7% of nonmetro counties with urban pop of 2,500–19,999, not adjacent to metro 
8. 68.3% of nonmetro counties with urban pop less than 2,500, adjacent to metro 
9. 59.1% of nonmetro counties with urban pop less than 2,500, not adjacent to metro 

The most urban counties were least likely to have negative natural increase—only 13 percent of big-city counties experienced more deaths than births since 2010.

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service, Rural-Urban Continuum Codes and Census Bureau, County Population Totals and Components of Change: 2010–2017

Monday, March 26, 2018

Fun Facts about the Generations

An article in the Monthly Labor Review provides a comprehensive look at the spending patterns of Americans by generation. BLS economist Geoffrey D. Paulin has done yeoman's work in analyzing and comparing the demographic characteristics and spending patterns of each generation using data from the 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey. From average spending to shares of aggregate spending, he not only provides the details but also analyzes them. Want to know what share of the food dollar is devoted to eating out? The share is highest among Millennials (47 percent) and drops with each succeeding generation to a low of 30 percent among the GI generation. Who spends the most on entertainment? Not Millennials, who spend less on entertainment than every generation except GIs.

Here's one tidbit from the report. Take a look at the variation by generation in the estimated market value of owned homes in 2016...

Estimated market value of owned home
All owners: $162,700
Millennials: $65,900
Gen Xers: $173,400
Boomers: $203,400
Silent: $205,500
GI: $121,200

The article defines the generations as follows: Millennials, born in 1981 or later (average age, 27.5); Generation X, born from 1965 to1980 (average age 42.9); Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964 (average age, 59.7); Silents, born from 1929 to 1945 (average age 76.7); GIs, born in 1928 or earlier (average age 90.2).

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, Fun Facts about Millennials: Comparing Expenditure Patterns from the Latest through the Greatest Generation

Friday, March 23, 2018

64% of Older Americans Create Art

Most older Americans participate in the arts. A study for the National Endowment for the Arts examines arts participation by people aged 55 or older and, using 2014 data from the Health and Retirement Study, determines whether participation is linked to better physical and mental health. It is. Those who participate in the arts and/or attend arts events have higher levels of cognitive functioning and less physical disability than those who do not.

Few older Americans are not involved in the arts. Just 16 percent of people aged 55 or older neither created art nor attended arts events in the past year. Another 20 percent attended events but did not create art. The 64 percent majority of people aged 55 or older created art—49 percent both created art and attended arts events and another 15 percent created art but did not attend events. Here's what the 64 percent of doers create...

27% crochet, knit, quilt, sew, weave, do needlepoint, or make jewelry
24% dance, including social dancing
19% sing or play a musical instrument
13% do photography, graphic design or filmmaking
12% do woodwork, leatherwork, or metal work
7% paint, sculpt, or make ceramics
7% write stories, poetry, or plays
1% act in theater or film

Fully 43 percent of women aged 55 or older crochet, knit, quilt, sew, weave, do needlepoint, or make jewelry compared with only 4 percent of men. Conversely, 26 percent of men participate in woodworking, leatherwork or metal work versus only 3 percent of women.

Source: National Endowment for the Arts, Staying Engaged: Health Patterns of Older Americans Who Participate in the Arts

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Big-City Counties Still Fastest Growing, but...

The nation's most urban counties continue to grow faster than any other county type according to the Census Bureau's 2017 county population estimates. A Demo Memo analysis of 2010-to-2017 county population trends along the Rural-Urban Continuum documents ongoing metro growth (the bigger, the better) and continuing rural decline. But the 2017 data reveal changing patterns of growth.

The Rural-Urban Continuum is the federal government's way of classifying counties by their degree of urbanity. The continuum is a scale ranging from 1 (the most urban counties, in metropolitan areas of 1 million or more) to 9 (the most rural counties, lacking any settlements of 2,500 or more people and not adjacent to a metropolitan area). If you sort the nation's 3,000-plus counties by their rank on the continuum, then measure population change between 2010 and 2017 for each rank, this is the result...


County population change 2010-2017 by Rural-Urban Continuum Rank

1. 7.1% for counties in metros with 1 million or more people
2. 5.5% for counties in metros of 250,000 to 1 million people
3. 3.5% for counties in metros with less than 250,000 people
4. 0.3% for nonmetro counties with urban pop of 20,000-plus, adjacent to metro
5. 1.6% for nonmetro counties with urban pop of 20,000-plus, not adjacent to metro
6. –1.0% for nonmetro counties with urban pop of 2,500–19,999, adjacent to metro
7. –1.4% for nonmetro counties with urban pop of 2,500–19,999, not adjacent to metro 
8. –1.3% for nonmetro counties with urban pop less than 2,500, adjacent to metro 
9. –1.7% for nonmetro counties with urban pop less than 2,500, not adjacent to metro 

Counties with a rank of 1 on the continuum (the most urban) have grown faster than any other county type in every year since 2010. 
But the pattern of growth is changing as the decade progresses. Average annual growth rates in smaller metro counties (rank 2 and 3) are increasing, while average annual growth is slowing in the largest urban counties. Some nonmetro counties saw their population losses turn to small gains in 2017 (rank 6 and 8). These emerging trends are signs that the economic recovery is increasingly widespread.  

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service, Rural-Urban Continuum Codes and Census Bureau, County Population Totals and Components of Change: 2010–2017

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Who Eats Salad?

On an average day, 20 percent of Americans aged 1 or older eat salad, according to the USDA's Food Surveys Research Group. The group defines salad as a mixture composed mainly of raw vegetables and excludes such things as fruit, pasta, potato, chicken, and tuna salad. The data come from the 2011–14 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which asks respondents to recall their food consumption for the previous 24 hours.

Females (23 percent) are more likely than males (16 percent) to eat salad on an average day, and older people are more likely than younger. Among adults aged 20 to 39, 18 percent eat salad on an average day. Among adults aged 40 or older, a larger 26 percent do. Those most likely to eat salad on an average day are women aged 60 or older (31 percent). Salad consumption also rises with income. Only 13 percent of people aged 1 or older from households with the lowest incomes eat salad on an average day versus 26 percent of those from households with the highest incomes.

Salads can contain a variety of ingredients, and most of the salads reported by survey respondents contained at least two raw vegetables. Here are the percentages of salads consumed on an average day that contained the following ingredients: 86% lettuce or leafy greens; 86% salad dressing; 43% tomatoes; 34% carrots; 27% onions; 25% cheese; 20% cucumbers; 19% meat, poultry, or fish; 10% croutons; 9% sweet peppers; 8% nuts or seeds; 7% olives; 7% celery; 5% avocado; 5% egg; and 5% broccoli.

Source: USDA, Food Surveys Research Group, Salad Consumption in the U.S.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Digital Economy is 6.5% of GDP

How big is the digital economy? If you've been trying to figure this out, you're in luck. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has produced the first estimates of the size of the digital economy "within the framework of the national accounts." Of course, defining what is and is not a part of the digital economy is a difficult task, and the BEA struggles with it. This first estimate includes only goods and services that are exclusively or primarily digital. It excludes the IoT (internet of things). And the BEA invites the public to improve upon its work, providing an email address for feedback.
  • In 2016, the digital economy accounted for 6.5 percent ($1,209.2 billion) of the nation's $18,624.5 billion GDP. It ranks 7th among industries in its share of GDP—just above wholesale trade and just below professional, scientific and technical services.  
  • The digital economy accounted for 5.9 million jobs in 2016, or 3.9 percent of the total. The digital economy's share of employment is lower than in its share of GDP, ranking 12th among industries in employment. 
  • The digital economy pays more than the average industry. Workers in the digital economy earn an average annual compensation of $114,275, much higher than the $66,498 annual compensation for the average worker.
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Defining and Measuring the Digital Economy

Monday, March 19, 2018

26% Online "Almost Constantly"

How often do you go online? If that seems like a silly question because you're always online, join the crowd. More than one in four American adults (26 percent) reports going online almost constantly, according to Pew Research Center. Another 43 percent go online several times a day, 8 percent once a day, 11 percent less than once a day, and another 11 percent do not go online at all. By age, the percentage who report going online almost constantly looks like this...

Percent who go online almost constantly
Aged 18 to 29: 39%
Aged 30 to 49: 36%
Aged 50 to 64: 17%
Aged 65-plus: 8%

Source: Pew Research Center, About a Quarter of U.S. Adults Say They Are "Almost Constantly" Online

Friday, March 16, 2018

20% of Older Americans Have Diabetes

Diabetes has become a common health condition among older Americans, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Overall, 8.8 percent of Americans aged 18 or older had been diagnosed with diabetes as of the first half of 2017, up from 5.3 percent two decades ago in 1997. The percentage with diabetes rises steeply with age...

Percent diagnosed with diabetes, January–September 2017
Aged 18 to 44:   2.8%
Aged 45 to 54:   9.6%
Aged 55 to 64: 15.7%
Aged 65-plus:  19.6%

One factor behind the rise of diabetes is growing obesity. The percentage of adults who are obese (defined as having a body mass index of 30 kg/m² or higher) climbed from 19 percent in 1997 to 31 percent in the first half of 2017. But this estimate of obesity is conservative because it is based on self-reported rather than measured heights and weights. When self-reporting, inches are gained and pounds are shed. According to a 2015–16 NCHS survey of measured heights and weights, a stunning 40 percent of American adults are obese.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data from the January—September 2017 National Health Interview Survey

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Surprises in the 2017 Population Projections

The Census Bureau's new population projections (vintage 2017) are interesting for a number of reasons—slowing growth, the aging of the population, the decline in non-Hispanic Whites, and minorities becoming the majority. Also interesting is how they differ from the previous projection series, produced in 2014. A look at how the bureau revised its estimates of births, deaths, and net international migration reveals the unexpected trends reshaping us now.
  • The population is growing more slowly than expected. The size of the American population in the future will be less than what the Bureau had projected just a few years ago, and the differences will pile up quickly. The 2020 population will be smaller by 2 million than what the bureau projected for that date in its 2014 vintage projections. In 2060, the population will be 13 million less than the previous projection for that year (404 million versus 417 million). 
  • Women will have fewer babies than expected. Compared to the 2014 projection series, the latest series forecasts 3 million fewer births during the 2017 to 2060 time period. The ongoing baby bust and reduced immigration are behind the muted births. Overall, the annual number of births is forecast to rise from about 4 million today to 4.38 million in 2060. The earlier projection series forecast 4.52 million births a year by 2060. 
  • Fewer immigrants will come to the United States. Compared to the 2014 projection series, the latest series projects 14 million fewer net international migrants over the 2017 to 2060 time period. Even this smaller projected number of migrants may be too optimistic because it does not take into account Trump administration policies that could further curb immigration. The annual net number of international migrants is forecast to be about 1.1 million during most of the 2017 to 2060 period, down from the 1.3 to 1.5 million previously projected.
  • Fewer deaths will occur during the forecast period. Compared to the 2014 series, the bureau projects 5 million fewer deaths during the 2017 to 2060 time period. This makes sense since the population will be smaller. The annual number of deaths is projected to rise from 2.7 million today to 3.9 million by 2060—less than the projected 4.1 million annual deaths by 2060 in the earlier projection series. But this forecast of fewer deaths may be overly optimistic. According to Tom Lawler, a housing economist writing in Calculated Risk, the latest mortality projections do not incorporate the recent increase in deaths among young and middle-aged adults. Indeed, the bureau assumes rising life expectancy for all groups rather than the decline of the past two years. 
If the number of immigrants is further reduced by Trump's policies, and if there are more deaths than predicted, then U.S. population growth over the next few decades may be even slower than forecast by the new projections.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's 2017 National Population Projections

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Minority Majority in 2045

The U.S. population will become minority majority in 2045, according to the Census Bureau's new (2017 vintage) population projections. This is one year later than forecast by the bureau's earlier series of projections (2014 vintage). Behind the one-year delay is the ongoing baby bust as well as slowing immigration.

Minorities as a percent of U.S. population, 2017 to 2060
2017: 39.1%
2020: 40.3%
2025: 42.3%
2030: 44.2%
2035: 46.2%
2040: 48.3%
2045: 50.3%
2050: 52.2%
2055: 54.0%
2060: 55.7%

The Census Bureau projects that the non-Hispanic White population will fall by 10 percent between 2017 and 2060. The Black population will grow 58 percent during those years, Hispanics 89 percent, and Asians 111 percent.

Although Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities will become the majority of the population in 2045, they will not come the majority of voters for another couple decades. According to a Demo Memo analysis, minorities will become the majority of voters in the presidential election of 2064.

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Census Bureau's 2017 National Population Projections

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trends in Home Values by Household Income

Regardless of household income—with one exception—most homeowners estimated a lower market value for their home in 2016 than their counterparts did in 2006, according to an analysis of Consumer Expenditure Survey data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average homeowner valued his or her home at $172,263 in 2016—5.9 percent lower than the $183,212 estimated by homeowners in 2006. The second income quintile of homeowners was the only one to estimate a higher market value for their home in 2016 than in 2006...

Estimated home value in 2016 by income quintile (and % change since 2006)
Lowest: $63,932 (–10.9%)
Second: $102,084 (+3.1%)
Middle: $128,788 (–6.7%)
Fourth: $186,282 (–11.8%)
Highest: $380,958 (–3.7%)

Note: In the BLS analysis, 2006 home values are not adjusted for inflation.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Majority of U.S. Households Estimate Decreased Home Market Values from 2006 to 2016

Monday, March 12, 2018

74% Read a Book in the Past Year

Nearly three out of four Americans aged 18 or older have read a book in the past year, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey. Print is the most popular format by far, and the percentage who have read a print book has not changed much in the past six years despite competition from digital books.

Percent who read a book in past year by format
Print: 67%
E-book: 26%
Audiobook: 18%

Among those who have read a book in the past year, 53 percent have read only print books, 9 percent have read only digital books (a category that includes e-books and audiobooks), and the remaining 39 percent have read both print and digital books.

Source: Pew Research Center, Nearly One-in-Five Americans Now Listen to Audiobooks

Friday, March 09, 2018

Asians Most Likely to be Multilingual

Among American adults, 29 percent can speak a language other than English. The multilingual population varies greatly by race and Hispanic origin. Most Asians and Hispanics are multilingual. Most Blacks and non-Hispanic Whites are not...

Can speak a language other than English
Total: 29%
Asians: 82%
Blacks: 26%
Hispanics: 68%
Non-Hispanic Whites: 19%

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the 2016 General Social Survey

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Men's Wages Are Increasingly Unequal

Trends in the real wages of men tell a story of growing inequality, according to an analysis by Patrick J. Purcell in Social Security Bulletin. Between 1981 and 2014, says Purcell, "the wage distribution became more unequal as wage growth in the top 10 percent of earners substantially outpaced the rate of growth for earners below the 90th percentile."

Real annual wage of men aged 25 to 59 by income percentile, 2014 (% change since 1981)
10th percentile: $13,387       (+3.8%)
25th percentile: $25,339       (–2.0%)
50th percentile: $45,000       (+4.7%)
75th percentile: $75,413      (+22.1%)
90th percentile: $121,763    (+50.7%)
99th percentile: $392,250  (+117.7%)

For all men, median real wages (50th percentile) climbed just 4.7 percent during those years. For men at the top of the wage distribution, real wages more than doubled.

Source: Social Security Bulletin, Trends in Men's Wages, 1981–2014

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Homeownership by Race and Hispanic Origin, 2017

Homeownership varies greatly by race and Hispanic origin. According to the Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey, the gap in the homeownership rate of non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks is fully 30 percentage points...

Homeownership rate in 2017
Asian: 57.2%
Black: 42.3%
Hispanic: 46.2%
Non-Hispanic White: 72.3%

The 30 percentage-point gap in 2017 was even bigger than the gap in 2000 (26.6 percentage points) as Black homeownership fell more than non-Hispanic White in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Because housing equity accounts for the largest share of household wealth, the wealth gap between Blacks and non-Hispanic Whites has grown. Between 2001 and 2016, the median net worth of non-Hispanic White households rose 2.8 percent to $171,000, after adjusting for inflation. The median net worth of Black households fell 33 percent to just $17,600.

Source: Census Bureau, Housing Vacancy Survey; and Federal Reserve Board, Survey of Consumer Finances

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The Boomer Love Affair with Cars

No segment of the population is as devoted to the automobile as the baby-boom generation. Boomers were born into a world of one-car families. By the time they were old enough to drive, second cars were becoming common and Boomers took the wheel, radios blasting. More than 1,500 songs about cars were recorded between 1961 and 1965, reports Wikipedia. Youth culture and car culture were one.

Boomers are no longer young, but their devotion to cars continues. The average Boomer household is home to more cars (2.3) than people (2.0), according to an AARP survey. The survey explores Boomer attitudes toward cars as they approach the age when their children will wonder whether they should take Daddy's car keys away. That won't be easy.

"Independence" is one of the top words Boomers use to describe their feelings about driving, with 78 percent saying their vehicle is the key to their independence. That may be why fully 57 percent of Boomers say they will never stop driving. Three out of four Boomers say their vehicle brings them happiness. It's not that Boomers are completely averse to changes in how they get from here to there. But only 20 percent have ever used ride-sharing services. When asked to describe their ideal vehicle, 78 percent would make it a standard rather than a driverless vehicle because they love to drive. And kids, don't try arguing with your Boomer parents about how their driving skills aren't what they used to be. Eighty percent of Boomers say they are better drivers than most people they know.

Source: AARP, Boomers Going the Distance: 2018 Consumer Insights on the Driving Experience

Monday, March 05, 2018

Smartphone Ownership, 2018

More than three-quarters of American adults (77 percent) own a smartphone, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey. Smartphone ownership does not vary much by race, Hispanic origin, or sex. But big differences persist by age and education...

Smartphone ownership by age
Aged 18 to 29: 94%
Aged 30 to 49: 89%
Aged 50 to 64: 73%
Aged 65-plus: 46%

Smartphone ownership by education
Not a HS grad: 57%
HS grad only: 69%
Some college: 80%
College grad: 91%

Source: Pew Research Center, Mobile Fact Sheet

Friday, March 02, 2018

7% Smoke During Pregnancy

Among all women who gave birth in 2016, 7.2 percent smoked during pregnancy, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. By state, smoking during pregnancy varies greatly. These are the extremes...

25.1% in West Virginia
  1.6% in California

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy: United States, 2016

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Homeownership Rate by Age, 2017

The nation's homeownership rate increased in 2017, rising to 63.9 percent, according to the Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy Survey, the first increase in more than a decade. Does this mean the housing market is returning to normal? Not likely, since the advancing age of first-time home buying (the age at which the homeownership rate first surpasses 50 percent) shows no signs of retreating.

Householders aged 30 to 34 were once the nation's first-time home buyers. But their homeownership rate has fallen by a stunning 11.7 percentage points since the overall homeownership rate peaked in 2004—the largest decline of any age group. With a homeownership rate of just 45.7 percent in 2017, householders aged 30 to 34 are no longer the nation's first-time home buyers. That distinction now belongs to householders aged 35 to 39.

Homeownership rate by age, 2017 (and percentage point changed since 2004 peak)
Under age 25: 22.6 (–2.6)
Aged 25 to 29: 32.1 (–8.1)
Aged 30 to 34: 45.7 (–11.7)
Aged 35 to 39: 56.4 (–9.8)
Aged 40 to 44: 61.8 (–10.1)
Aged 45 to 54: 69.3 (–7.9)
Aged 55 to 64: 75.3 (–6.4)
Aged 65-plus: 78.7 (–2.4)

Source: Demo Memo analysis of the Housing Vacancy Survey