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Report Number WE-6
Component ID: #ti1151454281


We still dream of owning our own homes, and for many of us that dream has become a reality. No matter what we earn, how old we are, or what we do, our homes are where our hearts are –- and where the heart of the Nation rests.

Since World War II, we have been building homes at a healthy, sometimes astonishing rate, which validates our strength as a people and a Nation. The 1990 census provides a vivid portrait of American housing and the situations in which we live. It helps us see how we have changed and how we are changing and how we can anticipate change in the decades ahead.

In 1990, there were over 102 million housing units in the United States, almost 14 million more than 1980. That is a 16 percent increase in housing units during the decade.

While there was an increase in the number of owner-occupied homes, the homeownership rate between 1980 and 1990 declined slightly for the first time since the depression era. The number of owner-occupied units rose 14 percent while renter-occupied units increased 15 percent.

The percentage of units with more than one person per room rose during the 1980’s for the first time since the first census of housing was taken in 1940. The proportion of householders who were elderly increased slightly during the decade.

Single-family homes still made up the majority of the housing inventory. Mobile homes, the fastest growing type of housing, increased by almost 3 million units from 1980 to 1990. Both median value and median contract rent rose faster than inflation.

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