Disparity in Homeownership

The U.S. Census Bureau posted an article on homeownership data. Homeownership among households headed by those ages 25 to 34 was highest from 2003 to 2007. Rates for those years, just prior to the Great Recession, ranged from 46.4% to 47.0%, according to data from the 2000-2019 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates.

Following the Great Recession, the financial landscape and opportunities for young adults to become homeowners shifted. Homeownership among young householders peaked in the years prior to the 2007-2009 Great Recession (Figure 1) but plunged almost 10.0 percentage points from 2007 to 2015.

The lowest rates of homeownership among young householders occurred between 2014 and 2016. There was a slight increase after that, but not to high pre-recession levels.

Higher levels of educational attainment are typically associated with greater economic stability, employment and full-time work, and lower levels with lower incomes and greater economic hardship. According to ACS data, homeownership rates among young householders differed by educational attainment. This is largely because higher education usually results in higher earnings critical for obtaining home loans and purchasing first homes. However, homeownership rates decreased for all education levels among young householders after the recession and were still below pre-recession level highs in 2019.

The nation’s young population has become increasingly diverse during the past two decades. Both younger and non-White households have historically had lower homeownership rates than older and White households. It might be expected that higher education reduces differences in homeownership by race and Hispanic origin. However, there are substantial differences even among this most highly educated group.

This data shows there is still work to be done to ensure young households of all racial, ethnic, income, and educational backgrounds have access to ownership. The Census Bureau continues to analyze the effects of educational attainment and diversity on homeownership among young households.