Homeowners vs. Renters Statistics (2023)
As part of our ongoing series, we’ve collected real estate statistics on homeowners and renters in the United States across multiple dimensions. Then we compared characteristics such as age, income, education level, household composition, race, and net worth.
Here’s a summary of what you’ll find on this page:
- How Many Homeowners and Renters are in the U.S.?
- Homeowner and Renter Demographics
- Is Being a Homeowner Better Than Renting?
Homeowners vs. Renters Key Stats
- 65.8% of the U.S. population lives in a home they own, and 34.2% rent.
- Over 70% of U.S. homeowners are 45 or older, while more than a third of renters are younger than 35.
- The median age of U.S. homeowners is 56, and the median age of renters is 39.
- 75% of U.S. homeowners are White.
- The median household income of U.S. homeowners is $86,000, and the median income of renters is $42,500.
- Homeowners tend to have an "excellent" credit score rating, while the rating of renters is "fair."
- U.S. homeowner have a net worth 40x higher than renters - $225,000 vs. $6,300.
How Many Homeowners and Renters are in the U.S.?
Numbers and Percentages of Homeowners and Renters
And here is a breakout of homeowners and renters by number and percentage share of U.S. households:
|Number of Households||43,695,000||82,576,000|
|Share of Households||34.2%||65.8%|
Homeownership Rates Over Time
Homeowner and Renter Demographics
The typical U.S. homeowner is 56 years old, married, well educated, is likely to earn an income above the national average, has an "excellent" credit score, and has a net worth of $255,000.
The typical U.S. renter is 39 years old, single, with at least some college education, is likely to earn an income below the national average, has a "fair" credit score rating, and has a net worth of $6,300.
Homeowners and Renters by Age
Most U.S. homeowners are middle-aged or older, with only 10% under the age of 35 and more than 70% over the age of 45. The median age of U.S. homeowners is 56 years old.
In contrast, the median age of U.S. renters is 39. Over half of renters are under 45, and 34% are 35 or younger. Only 8% of renters are in their seventies, and only 9% are in their sixties, skewing the renters’ age distribution further towards the younger population.
Millennials (27-41 years old) represent the greatest number of U.S. renters, making up 42% of the total. The largest generation among U.S. homeowners is Baby Boomers (57-76 years old), with a similar proportion at 42%.
Homeowners and Renters by Race
Homeownership is the highest among white U.S. households.
75% of homeowners are White, more prominent than an overall share of the White population in the U.S. (63%). Hispanic are the 2nd largest homeowner group with a significantly smaller percentage of 10%.
About half of U.S. renters are White, followed by Black and Hispanic groups, with a 20% share each.
Black and Hispanic people are more likely to rent than own, while Asian people do not demonstrate statistically significant preferences toward renting or owning. Here is a table of renters and homeonwers by race:
Homeowners vs. Renters by Education Level
From high school through college, homeowners and renters have similar levels of education, in line with the general level of education in the U.S.
Postgraduates are more likely to become homeowners (17% vs. 12% for renters), as people with advanced degrees tend to earn more income.
Here is a breakout of renter and homeowner education levels:
|High school or less||32%||30%|
Homeowners vs. Renters by Income
Homeownership increases with higher earnings.
A higher salary positively impacts overall home affordability. In addition, higher-income earners tend to look for more space and privacy than renting permits.
Among the lowest 25% of income earners, over 61% are renters, and 39% are homeowners. In contrast, in the top 25% of income earners, 90% are homeowners, and only 10% are renters.
Here is a table of renter and homeowner income by quartile.
The positive correlation between income and homeownership leads to a large concentration of high-income earners within the homeowner group.
Not surprisingly, homeowners’ median income of $86,000 exceeds the nationwide median ($79,900) and the median income of renters ($42,500).
Here is a table of median incomes for renters, homeowners and the U.S. average for all households.
The low median income of renters - about half that of homeowners -- can be explained by renters’ younger age and household composition.
Nearly 40% of renters live alone and are single-income earners, while more than 50% of U.S. homeowners (and U.S. adults overall) are married and have dual household incomes.
Homeowner and Renter Credit Scores
Per Fannie Mae, the average credit score across all U.S. homebuyers is 754.
The average credit scores of renters and the overall U.S. adult population are 638 and 714, respectively, according to Experian.
The average credit score of homeowners falls within the “excellent” credit score range (720– 850), while the credit score of renters falls into the “fair” category (630-689).
Here is a table of average credit scores of homewowner and renters:
|Group||Average Credit Score|
Credit scores are essential for both renting and buying. To qualify for a home mortgage or to rent an apartment, the minimum required credit score is 620.
Credit scores also affect mortgage terms after the initial qualification – people with higher scores may qualify for a lower annual percentage rate (APR) and pay less interest on their loans.
The average homebuyer with a credit score of 754 qualifies for a 5.057% APR, while the average renter with a credit score of 638 qualifies for an APR of 6.424%, 1.367 points higher.
Homeowner vs. Renter by Net Worth
According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of U.S. homeowners is 40x higher than the median net worth of renters.
The median net worth of homeowners is also 2x the median net worth of U.S. households nationwide.
|Group||Median Net Worth|
Source: St. Louis Federal Reserve
Homeowner and Renter Household Composition
Buying a home is often tied up to family formation. Not surprisingly, nearly 60% of homeowners are married, and over 70% live with families.
Being younger than homeowners, most renters are not married, and nearly 40% of renters live alone.
Homeowners are 3x less likely to share homes with non-family members than renters. While 12% of renters have roommates, only 4% of homeowners do so.
Is Being a Homeowner Better Than Renting?
Both renting and buying have pros and cons, and there’s no definite answer to which option is better.
The right decision differs from person to person. It depends on their unique financial situation, individual goals, mortgage terms they can qualify for, and the costs of renting and buying in the local real estate market.
Here’re some essential considerations to keep in mind:
- Renting offers greater flexibility, predictable monthly expenses, and lower upfront costs, but it doesn’t build equity.
- Owing a home builds equity and provides tax benefits. It also comes with substantial upfront costs and high monthly expenses (in addition to mortgages, homeowners pay taxes, insurance, utilities, home maintenance, repairs, etc.).
- Buying a home can be an excellent investment. Still, as with any investment, there are risks - an economic downturn and real estate market price corrections can result in a homeowner owing more on the mortgage than the home is worth. The economy and home prices may take some time to recover. Until that happens, a homeowner needs to be prepared to make regular payments on their home.
- Renting doesn’t mean throwing money away every month; it gives renters a place to live, something valuable. Additionally, if renting costs less than owning and generates savings, and renters invest those savings every month, they’ll be able to build wealth like homeowners.
- For most people, buying a home is the most significant investment they make in a lifetime, yet the decision is often emotional rather than logical.
- According to the National Association of Realtors, the number one reason people buy is simply the desire to become a homeowner.