U.S. Census Bureau Releases 2015 American Community Survey

The U.S. Census Bureau released data from the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) on September 15. The data show that there were 43.7 million renter households in 2015. Of these renter households, 21.4 million were cost burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing. At 49.1%, this amounts to nearly half of all renter households.

The percentage of cost-burdened renter households declines with income. Among renter households with annual incomes of less than $20,000, 88.9% were cost burdened, and among those with annual incomes between $20,000 and $34,999, 75.3% were cost burdened. Only 5.8% of renter households with annual incomes of $75,000 or more were cost burdened in 2015.

The ACS collects U.S. demographic, housing, economic, and commuting data on an annual basis. Approximately 3.5 million households are selected annually from every county in the nation to complete the survey. Annual survey results are available at the state, county, and local levels for jurisdictions with at least 65,000 residents. These results are published in pre-tabulated summary tables available on American FactFinder’s website.

The Census Bureau also releases the ACS Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) later in the year, which provides researchers with untabulated records from the latest ACS about individuals and housing units. NLIHC utilizes ACS PUMS data to conduct its annual Affordable Housing Gap Analysis, an in-depth examination of the affordability of the rental housing stock and cost-burdens in all 50 states and the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

The 2015 ACS is available on American FactFinder’s website at: http://bit.ly/1vEz1wK