Homeownership rates in America have fallen by two percent since 2000, according to the U.S. Census and American Community Survey. Young Americans are the primary cause of falling homeownership rates. In fact, homeownership rates dropped six percent among Americans aged 20-34 in the same time period. Rather than purchasing a home, a growing number have opted to continue renting rather than purchase a ‘starter home’ either by choice or out of financial necessity.

More and more young people with an undergraduate degree or higher have left suburban or rural areas to work in cities. The population of major cities like Boston or Miami, for example, has increased by twelve and seventeen percent since 2010, respectively. This growth skews disproportionately toward residents over age 25 with a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. This influx of educated and financially successful residents leads to rising real estate prices in America’s largest metropolitan areas. As a result, renting becomes the more desirable—or only—option for many. In fact, a recent Pew Research Center survey on American renters reports that 72 percent of renters would like to purchase a home at some point, while 65 percent currently rent as a result of circumstances. Many rent for financial reasons, instead of by choice.

To identify the top twenty cities with the highest share of renters, the data science and research team at Insurify referred to statistics published by City-Data.



  • Population density and rates of renters. Given research demonstrating a correlation between population density and higher real estate prices relative to median household income, it stands to reason that the cities with the most renters would also be some of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the United States. In fact, nine out of the twenty cities with the most renters rank within the top 60 most densely populated, including New York City, San Francisco, and Miami.
  • Regional differences. The twenty cities with the highest proportion of renters are located on both coasts and in the south, while cities from the Mountain States are absent, and only one hails from the Midwest.
  • Cities with the fewest renters. On the other side of the spectrum are cities with the lowest proportion of renters. Centennial CO, North Hempstead NY, and Broken Arrow, OK have the lowest proportion of renters, who make up only 19.7, 23.3, and 23.8 percent of the population, respectively.


The data and research team at Insurify, a home insurance quotes comparison site, referred to the latest location-based homeownership statistics released by City-Data. From these statistics, they identified the cities with the lowest proportion of homes occupied by owners, which, consequently, have the highest proportion of renters given that homes unoccupied by their owners are invariably rented out.

Data from the American Community Survey by the United States Census Bureau was used to determine the population of each city in the rankings. For each of the twenty cities in this ranking, researchers at Insurify calculated the approximate number of renters in each city, based on this data and on the percentage of renters in each city.

U.S. Cities with the most Renters

20. Cincinnati, Ohio

    • Percentage of renters: 62.0
    • City population: 297,517
    • Approximate population of renters: 184,461

19. Rochester, New York

  • Percentage of renters: 62.1
  • City population: 210,358
  • Approximate population of renters: 130,632

18. Athens-Clarke County, Georgia

    • Percentage of renters: 62.2
    • City population: 119,980
    • Approximate population of renters: 74,628

17. El Cajon, California

  • Percentage of renters: 62.4
  • City population: 102,211
  • Approximate population of renters: 63,780

16. El Monte, California

    • Percentage of renters: 63.4
    • City population: 115,708
    • Approximate population of renters: 73,359

15. Gainesville, Florida

  • Percentage of renters: 63.8
  • City population: 127,488
  • Approximate population of renters: 81,337

14. Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Percentage of renters: 63.9
  • City population: 107,289
  • Approximate population of renters: 68,558

13. San Franciso, California

  • Percentage of renters: 64.1
  • City population: 837,442
  • Approximate population of renters: 536,800

12. Los Angeles, California

  • Percentage of renters: 64.1
  • City population: 3,884,307
  • Approximate population of renters: 2,489,841

11. Irving, Texas

  • Percentage of renters: 64.1
  • City population: 228,653
  • Approximate population of renters: 146,567

10. Inglewood, California

  • Percentage of renters: 64.3
  • City population: 111,542
  • Approximate population of renters: 71,722

9. Orlando, Florida

  • Percentage of renters: 64.3
  • City population: 255,483
  • Approximate population of renters: 164,276

8. Providence, Rhode Island

  • Percentage of renters: 64.5
  • City population: 177,994
  • Approximate population of renters: 114,806

7. Glendale, California

  • Percentage of renters: 65.9
  • City population: 196,021
  • Approximate population of renters: 129,178

6. Boston, Massachusetts

  • Percentage of renters: 66.4
  • City population: 645,966
  • Approximate population of renters: 428,921

5. College Station, Texas

  • Percentage of renters: 67.1
  • City population: 100,050
  • Approximate population of renters: 67,134

4. New York, New York

  • Percentage of renters: 68.0
  • City population: 8,405,837
  • Approximate population of renters: 5,715,969

3. Miami, Florida

  • Percentage of renters: 68.7
  • City population: 417,650
  • Approximate population of renters: 286,864

2. Brooklyn, New York

  • Percentage of renters: 70.4
  • City population: 2,538,705
  • Approximate population of renters: 1,787,248

1. New Haven, Connecticut

  • Percentage of renters: 71.4
  • City population: 130,660
  • Approximate population of renters: 93,291


If you have questions or comments about this article, please contact insights@insurify.com.


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