Racial Equity
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity

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Rent as Percent of Household Income by Race/ Ethnicity, 2016-20

What does this measure?

The proportion of household income that goes toward monthly rent, utilities and fuel, calculated by dividing median rent by median household income for renters, presented for renters of various racial and ethnic groups.

Why is this important?

This figure indicates how affordable housing is for renters. The federal Housing and Urban Development Department guideline for affordability is that rent should consume no more than 30% of household income. High housing costs can force households to choose between paying for housing and meeting other basic needs such as food, clothing and health care.

How is our region doing?

In 2016-20, racial and ethnic minorities in the region typically paid a larger proportion of their income on rent than white residents did. The proportion was 30% for African Americans, 35% for Hispanics and 26% for Asian Americans, compared to 28% for whites. While racial and ethnic disparities existed at the state and national levels as well, renters in all groups in the region paid a smaller proportion of their income on rent than in Massachusetts and had proportions similar to the U.S. as a whole, excepting Hispanics, who were paying more (35% in MetroWest, compared to 31%, nationally).

Compared to the region in 2016-20, Middlesex and Norfolk generally commanded equal or higher proportions of rent, while Worcester was lower.

Why do these disparities exist?

Research connects lower incomes and higher poverty rates among people of color to historic and current policies and practices that disadvantaged people of color. These policies and systems, ranging from inequitable access to housing to employment discrimination to education systems that fail to equitably serve all populations, have prevented people of color from fully participating in our economy, locking them out of economic opportunity. This has resulted in lower incomes for people of color, which means housing costs are a greater burden. At the same time, housing costs are rising faster than incomes and affordable housing is limited.

Notes about the data

Multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in January.

Rent as Percent of Household Income by Race/ Ethnicity, 2016-20
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States27%33%31%27%
Massachusetts30%35%36%29%
Region26%30%35%28%
Middlesex County27%30%35%26%
Norfolk County29%33%36%28%
Worcester County24%26%35%27%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau




Median Rent by Race/Ethnicity, 2016-20
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States$1,498$1,029$1,193$1,122
Massachusetts$1,658$1,331$1,239$1,408
Region$1,750$1,374$1,319$1,548
Middlesex County$1,878$1,499$1,568$1,727
Norfolk County$1,764$1,487$1,634$1,678
Worcester County$1,616$1,229$1,082$1,199

Source: U.S. Census Bureau




INDICATORS
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Children Living in Poverty
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Single-Parent Families
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity
Disengaged Youth
Reports of Domestic Violence
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments
Households Without Vehicles
Means of Transportation to Work
Households With Internet Access
Voter Participation Rate
Average Charitable Contribution
People Without Health Insurance
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate
Crimes Against People
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity
Change in Total Population
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity
Foreign-Born Population
Language Diversity
Population by Age
Change in Population by Age/Gender
Seniors Living Alone
People with Disabilities
Change in Total Jobs by Sector
Unemployment Rate
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity
Average Salary by Sector
High-Tech Jobs
Female to Male Earnings Ratio
Prekindergarten Participation
School Spending Per Student
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group
Chronically Absent Students
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group
Education Levels of Adults
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Households Receiving Temporary Assistance
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity
Median Household Income
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity
Living Wage
80/20 Income Ratio
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity
Homeownership Rates
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Rent
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity
Homelessness
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity


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