Here Come the Renters: US Household Living in Rental Units Hits 55-Year High in 2021

By Dan Rafter

How strong is the country’s multifamily market? A new study by RentCafe found that 43.7 million U.S. households lived in rentals in 2021. That’s the highest this figure has been in the last 55 years.

And one-third of the people renting multifamily units this decade say that they are renting by choice, not necessity, accoding to RentCafe.

This trend doesn’t look ready to slow, either. RentCafe reported that as many as 101 zip codes in the country switched from owner-majority to renter-majority during the last decade. Today, there are more renters than homeowners in 41% of the zip codes in the United States’ 50 largest cities.

The 43240 zip code in Columbus, Ohio, saw the fastest increase in the number of renters, RentCafe said. In 2011, this zip code saw 1,192 renters. In 2020, that number had risen to 3,067, an increase of 157.3%. About 68% of the people living in this zip code are renters.

The 60606 zip code in Chicago ranked second on this list. In 2011, this zip code had 807 renters. In 2020, that figure had jumped 151.2% to 2,027. Here, renters account for 63% of the zip code’s population.

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