Renters: The Growing Cost-Burdened Population

43 Million.
That was the final count, in 2016, of the national renting population.  According to a 2015 census, upwards of 47.7% of this population is considered “cost-burdened” – meaning close to 21 million renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.

The renting population has been broken down into three generations: Millennials lead the way with 65.5%, followed by Gen Xers at 37.9%, and Baby Boomers at 23.3%. The chart below, analyzes the percentage of each by population on, the percent of renter households that are cost- burdened (red) and percent of all households that are cost- burdened (grey). Although Baby Boomers have the lowest overall rent population, they are currently experiencing the highest “cost-burden” across three generations.

Who's spending more than 30% on rent?

How does this equate to DC’s renter population?

46.5%, 41.1% and 49%.
These are the cost-burdened percentages of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers (in that order) DC metro area renter populations.  Realizing that the average renter’s housing costs have only increased over the years and the “cost-burden” is dramatically less when looking at a homeowner’s housing costs, one has to ask the question:

Top five obstacles among many of the Millennial participants were:
  • Student Loans
  • Credit
  • Interest Rates and Bank Loan Contingencies
  • Prices within the DMV market
  • Down payments

For a generation that provokes a fluctuating opinion of accolades and criticisms regarding financial management – 80% of Millennials actually strive to become homeowners. With only a third being successful in making a down payment on owning a home, it’s not surprising that all the talking points surround varying degrees of financial stresses.  So how do we get around or work through these obstacles? Not one of the three generations can eliminate themselves as “cost-burdenless”.

Student Loans


Interest Rates and Loan Contingencies

 Prices Within the DMV Market

Down Payments

For the First Time Home Buyer, there are countless programs available to assist you in becoming a homeowner. It is not an impossible obstacle! Properly educating oneself sometimes requires outside guidance. Don’t be afraid to “raise your hand” when looking to turn your “cost-burdening” house hold expenses into a potential wealth building circumstance.