Children living in households with a high housing cost burden, 2008-2012 and 2016-2020 in the United States

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Why This Indicator Matters

Family income is only one factor of financial security; the cost of basic expenses also matters. Housing is typically one of the largest expenses that families face. Low-income families, in particular, are unlikely to be able to meet all of their basic needs if housing consumes nearly one-third or more of their income.
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Definitions: The share of children living in households where more than 30 percent of the monthly income was spent on rent, mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and/or related expenses.

The 30 percent threshold for housing costs is based on research on affordable housing by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development (HUD). According to HUD, households that must allocate more than 30 percent of their income to housing expenses are less likely to have enough resources for food, clothing, medical care or other needs.

Data Source: Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 5-year American Community Survey, 2008-2012 and 2016-2020

Updated July 2022.

S - Estimates suppressed when the confidence interval around the percentage is greater than or equal to 10 percentage points.
N.A. – Data not available.
A 90 percent confidence interval for each estimate can be found at Children living in households with a high housing cost burden, 2008-2012 and 2016-2020.