Cities like New York and San Francisco get a lot of attention for soaring rents. But renters’ financial situations have actually deteriorated more significantly in some unexpected places over the past decade.
From 2005 to 2014, mid-size U.S. cities have shown the most growth in the share of renters paying more than half of their household income (before taxes) toward rent and utilities.
Why? One big reason is that in many cities, wages have lagged rent increases over the past decade, especially for the bottom half of wage earners.
Click on metro areas to see rent burden by year and adjust slider for burden over time.
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Nationally, 11.4 million families, or 26.4 percent of the 43.1 million U.S. renter households, spend at least half their income on rent according to 2014 Census data, the latest available. That’s up from 11.2 million, or 26.6 percent in 2013.