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Bonnie Damon
Jeanne Woodward


More Householders Than Ever Own Their Homes According to Census 2000

A ratio of 2-in-3 U.S. householders (69.8 million or 66.2 percent) owned their homes last year, according to new analysis of Census 2000 data released today by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.

The analysis showed a total of 115.9 million housing units in the United States in 2000, an increase of 13.6 million units or 13.3 percent since 1990. During the same period, the increase in owner-occupied homes - 10.8 million, or 18.3 percent - far outpaced the rise in renter-occupied units - 2.7 million, or 8.3 percent. Rental units totaled 35.7 million.

One in a series of Census 2000 briefs, the analysis, titled Housing Characteristics: 2000, shows that the South (17.5 percent) and the West (16.7 percent) regions experienced higher rates of housing growth than the Midwest (10.1 percent) and Northeast (6.6 percent).


Historical perspective

  • Between 1890 and 1940, less than half of U.S. households owned their homes.
  • The Great Depression drove ownership rates to their lowest level of the century in 1940 (43.6 percent).
  • Since the 1950 census, when homeowners represented 55 percent of all householders, the rate of homeownership has increased steadily.
  • By 1960, because of the post-World War II economic boom, favorable tax laws and easier mortgage financing, homeownership topped 60 percent.

Homeowners across the nation

  • The majority of householders in each of the four census regions owned their homes: Midwest, 70.2 percent; South, 68.4 percent; Northeast, 62.4; and West, 61.5 percent.
  • Florida's metropolitan areas led in ownership rates among metro areas.
  • West Virginia led all states in homeownership, with about 3 out of 4 householders owning their homes in the Mountaineer state.

Renters across the nation

  • Approximately one third of the 35.7 million renter-occupied units were located in the South and nearly a quarter in the West. The rest were about evenly distributed between the Northeast and the Midwest.
  • Although renters outnumbered owners in the District of Columbia, the rental inventory decreased 3.5 percent from 1990 to 2000.
  • In the nation's four largest cities, most householders were renters (New York, 70 percent; Los Angeles, 61 percent; Chicago, 56 percent; and Houston, 54 percent).

Homeowners by age and marital status

  • Approximately 4 out of 5 married-couple families owned their homes in 2000. Empty nesters and other married couples without children under 18 were more likely (84.8 percent) than married couples with children (76.9 percent) to own their homes.
  • More than half (55.4 percent) of families maintained by men without spouses present were homeowners, compared with about half (49.6 percent) of families maintained by women without spouses.
  • Women who lived alone were more likely than lone male householders to be owners, (56 percent versus 47 percent.)
  • Homeownership was related to the age of the householders. Only about 18 percent of young householders under 25 were homeowners, but the percentage climbed to 81 percent for householders 65 to 74 years old.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | | Last Revised: September 09, 2014