According to a recent MReport, the population of American renters has declined from 111 million to 109 million since 2015. Data released in September of 2020 from the U.S. Census stated that the population of homeowners has increased in recent years, reaching roughly 213 million. A recent study conducted by reveals how the populations of renters and homeowners differ across the U.S., how millennials have influenced the population changes, and what the future could hold for Gen Z-ers entering the market. The rentcafe study analyzed cities across the country with populations greater than 100,000, which added up to 317 cities. 


The study discovered that millennials have started the trend of “renters by choice”, which means they prefer the lifestyle of renting in an urban area. This trend is likely to have caused 23 U.S. cities to become renter-majority cities from 2010 to 2019. During that time period, homeowners became the majority in only 12 cities. The cities that have experienced the largest increases in renter populations over the past decade are Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Memphis. Outside of the 23 renter-majority cities, many American cities with the highest increase in renter populations are in Texas. In comparison, a few cities that are homeowner-majority are Chicago, Sacramento, and Reno. The number of homeowners increased consistently from 2013 to 2017, when it increased 2.3%. The rate of growth in the homeowner population dropped slightly in 2018 but rose again last year. The study included predictions for what the housing market will look like once Generation Z joins the housing market. Rentcafe predicts that there will be 45 million members of Generation Z joining the housing market by 2025. Rentcafe believes this will lead to an increase in the renter population. According to the MReport, “Renters today make up about one-third (33.6%) of the total U.S. population, which is a slight decrease from 2015 when renters made up 35.5% of the population. By 2019, the renter population hit a seven-year low, but the influx of Gen Z-ers who are starting to grow out of their parents’ homes and look for their first place could cause renter populations to bounce back”.   

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