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About Housing

The Census Bureau’s housing data present a comprehensive picture of housing in America. You will find a wide range of data on the size, age and type of American homes; home values, rents and mortgages, the housing and construction industry, and more.

We measure the housing and construction industry, track homeownership rates, and produce statistics on both the physical and financial characteristics of our homes. Together, these statistics present a comprehensive picture of housing in America, allowing data-driven decision-making at all levels of government.

The key housing information we release is critical to measuring our national economy. The housing industry represents more than a quarter of our nation’s total investment dollars and about 5 percent of our total economy.

Multiple surveys collect housing information, including the American Housing Survey, the American Community Survey, the Decennial Census, the Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey, Survey of Market Absorption of Apartments, the Rental Housing Finance Survey, the Building Permits Survey, and the Survey of Construction. Each survey addresses different data needs and produces statistics at different levels of geography.


  • Housing Affordability: Examine the affordability of homes at different price levels, chances of affordability by demographic characteristic, reasons why families and unrelated individuals could not afford a home, and the impact of possible policy changes (such as modified down payments and interest rates) on affordability for renters.
  • Housing Patterns: Computed from decennial census data, residential housing pattern measures, including dissimilarity, isolation, absolute centralization and spatial proximity indexes, are provided by demographic characteristic and selected geographies.
  • Housing Vacancies: Vacancies include rental vacancy rates, homeowner vacancy rates, gross vacancy rates, characteristics of vacant units, and inventory estimates.
  • New Housing (Construction): National and regional data document the number of new housing units in each stage of construction: authorized by building permits; authorized, but not started; started; under construction; and completed. Data are also available on the number of new single-family houses sold and for sale and on physical and financial characteristics of new housing.
  • Rental Housing: Rental housing data include housing inventory estimates and characteristics of renter-occupied housing units.
  • Residential Financing: Mortgage data include the financial characteristics of housing units with and without a mortgage, mortgage status by age of householder, and other characteristics.

Page Last Revised - November 21, 2021
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