NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Record Proportion Of Americans Now Own Their Homes

May 23, 2001

A record 66.2 percent of Americans were homeowners, according to last year's census. That's 2 percentage points higher than in 1990 -- and compares with a rate of 46.5 percent in 1900.

  • According to census data, 69.8 million homes were occupied by their owners in 2000 -- up 10.8 million from 1990.
  • The increase between 1990 and 2000 was the largest since the 1950s -- when the ownership rate jumped 6.9 percentage points.
  • Since World War II, the rate has increased every decade except the 1980s -- when it slipped less than 1 percentage point.
  • West Virginia had the highest homeownership rate of any state -- at 75.2 percent.

Factors credited by experts for the jump during the 1990s are the booming economy -- with low unemployment and a bull stock market -- reasonably low mortgage rates, maturing of the baby boomers and the influx of immigrants.

Racial minorities also played a part in the increase.

Source: Thomas A. Fogarty, "Homeownership Gets Sweeter, Hits Record," USA Today, May 23, 2001.


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