Newscruncher is a daily series that breaks down the characteristics of your town by the numbers. You can see more posts by clicking the Newscruncher link above the headline or by checking out our weekend roundups. If you see any technical issues with this map, or if you'd like to suggest ideas for future Newscruncher articles, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The map above shows a snapshot of the average household size for renters across town.
Why is this interesting? Well, nationally the number of occupied single-family homes that were rentals rose to 18 percent last year from about 15 percent in 2006. This follows a trend of former homeowners continuing to rent after their homes were foreclosed upon or people delaying homeownership after the burst of the housing bubble.
In 32 of the nation’s top metropolitan regions, at least a fifth of all single-family homes were rentals. The demand is so strong in some areas that homeowners are turning their homes into rental units.
While demand is rising, so are prices, and finding affordable units with more bedrooms for larger families is getting harder because of rising housing costs, elevated unemployment and stagnant earnings.
Using your cursor, you can hover over any census tract – the geographic region defined by the U.S. Census – and see in the box in the upper right hand corner of the map the average household size. What do you think explains the differences in the average household size across town? Tell us in a comment or a blog post.