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Historical Homeownership Rate in the United States, 1890-Present

Written by:
PK

We found historical homeownership rates buried in a digitized Census Bureau report from the 1970s indexed and searchable at the University of Minnesota.

We've reproduced the additional data points in the chart and table. You can find the quarter to quarter homeownership data from the Census Bureau at the St. Louis Fed's FRED economic indicator database.

US Homeownership rate from 1900 - 2020
US Homeownership rate from 1900 - 2020 (Excel can't handle 1890, see below)

Historical Homeownership Rate Data Points, for 1890 through 1970

DateHomeownership
1/1/189047.80%
1/1/0046.70%
1/1/1045.90%
1/1/2045.60%
1/1/3047.80%
1/1/4043.60%
1/1/4553.20%
1/1/5055.00%
1/1/5660.40%
1/1/6061.90%
1/1/6562.90%
4/1/6562.90%
7/1/6562.90%
10/1/6563.40%
1/1/6663.50%
4/1/6663.20%
7/1/6663.30%
10/1/6663.80%
1/1/6763.30%
4/1/6763.90%
7/1/6763.80%
10/1/6763.50%
1/1/6863.60%
4/1/6864.10%
7/1/6864.10%
10/1/6863.60%
1/1/6964.10%
4/1/6964.40%
7/1/6964.40%
10/1/6964.40%
1/1/7064.30%
4/1/7064.00%
7/1/7064.40%
10/1/7064.00%
1/1/7164.00%
4/1/7164.10%
7/1/7164.40%
10/1/7164.50%
1/1/7264.30%
4/1/7264.50%
7/1/7264.30%
10/1/7264.40%
1/1/7364.90%
4/1/7364.40%
7/1/7364.40%
10/1/7364.40%
1/1/7464.80%
4/1/7464.80%
7/1/7464.60%
10/1/7464.40%
1/1/7564.40%
4/1/7564.90%
7/1/7564.60%
10/1/7564.50%
1/1/7664.60%
4/1/7664.60%
7/1/7664.90%
10/1/7664.80%
1/1/7764.80%
4/1/7764.50%
7/1/7765.00%
10/1/7764.90%
1/1/7864.80%
4/1/7864.40%
7/1/7865.20%
10/1/7865.40%
1/1/7964.80%
4/1/7964.90%
7/1/7965.80%
10/1/7965.40%
1/1/8065.50%
4/1/8065.50%
7/1/8065.80%
10/1/8065.50%
1/1/8165.60%
4/1/8165.30%
7/1/8165.60%
10/1/8165.20%
1/1/8264.80%
4/1/8264.90%
7/1/8264.90%
10/1/8264.50%
1/1/8364.70%
4/1/8364.70%
7/1/8364.80%
10/1/8364.40%
1/1/8464.60%
4/1/8464.60%
7/1/8464.60%
10/1/8464.10%
1/1/8564.10%
4/1/8564.10%
7/1/8563.90%
10/1/8563.50%
1/1/8663.60%
4/1/8663.80%
7/1/8663.80%
10/1/8663.90%
1/1/8763.80%
4/1/8763.80%
7/1/8764.20%
10/1/8764.10%
1/1/8863.70%
4/1/8863.70%
7/1/8864.00%
10/1/8863.80%
1/1/8963.90%
4/1/8963.80%
7/1/8964.10%
10/1/8963.80%
1/1/9064.00%
4/1/9063.70%
7/1/9064.00%
10/1/9064.10%
1/1/9163.90%
4/1/9163.90%
7/1/9164.20%
10/1/9164.20%
1/1/9264.00%
4/1/9263.90%
7/1/9264.30%
10/1/9264.40%
1/1/9364.20%
4/1/9364.40%
7/1/9364.70%
10/1/9364.60%
1/1/9463.80%
4/1/9463.80%
7/1/9464.10%
10/1/9464.20%
1/1/9564.20%
4/1/9564.70%
7/1/9565.00%
10/1/9565.10%
1/1/9665.10%
4/1/9665.40%
7/1/9665.60%
10/1/9665.40%
1/1/9765.40%
4/1/9765.70%
7/1/9766.00%
10/1/9765.70%
1/1/9865.90%
4/1/9866.00%
7/1/9866.80%
10/1/9866.40%
1/1/9966.70%
4/1/9966.60%
7/1/9967.00%
10/1/9966.90%
1/1/0067.10%
4/1/0067.20%
7/1/0067.70%
10/1/0067.50%
1/1/0167.50%
4/1/0167.70%
7/1/0168.10%
10/1/0168.00%
1/1/0267.80%
4/1/0267.60%
7/1/0268.00%
10/1/0268.30%
1/1/0368.00%
4/1/0368.00%
7/1/0368.40%
10/1/0368.60%
1/1/0468.60%
4/1/0469.20%
7/1/0469.00%
10/1/0469.20%
1/1/0569.10%
4/1/0568.60%
7/1/0568.80%
10/1/0569.00%
1/1/0668.50%
4/1/0668.70%
7/1/0669.00%
10/1/0668.90%
1/1/0768.40%
4/1/0768.20%
7/1/0768.20%
10/1/0767.80%
1/1/0867.80%
4/1/0868.10%
7/1/0867.90%
10/1/0867.50%
1/1/0967.30%
4/1/0967.40%
7/1/0967.60%
10/1/0967.20%
1/1/1067.10%
4/1/1066.90%
7/1/1066.90%
10/1/1066.50%
1/1/1166.40%
4/1/1165.90%
7/1/1166.30%
10/1/1166.00%
1/1/1265.40%
4/1/1265.50%
7/1/1265.50%
10/1/1265.40%
1/1/1365.00%
4/1/1365.00%
7/1/1365.30%
10/1/1365.20%
1/1/1464.80%
4/1/1464.70%
7/1/1464.40%
10/1/1464.00%
1/1/1563.70%
4/1/1563.40%
7/1/1563.70%
10/1/1563.80%
1/1/1663.50%
4/1/1662.90%
7/1/1663.50%
10/1/1663.70%
1/1/1763.60%
4/1/1763.70%
7/1/1763.90%
10/1/1764.20%
1/1/1864.20%
4/1/1864.30%
7/1/1864.40%
10/1/1864.80%
1/1/1964.20%
4/1/1964.10%
7/1/1964.80%
10/1/1965.10%
1/1/2065.30%
4/1/2067.90%

Homeownership in the United States

The United States has, for better or worse, increased the overall homeownership rate significantly from the turn of the 20th century. That's on top of a rapidly increasing population.

Some of that is our innovations on the 30 year mortgage. Because of that program, we've been able to make homeownership much more accessible to the population.

Of course, it's not 100% clear that a high home-ownership rate is an unalloyed good. One obvious counterexample: the effects of mobility of renters vs. owners on the labor market.

We'll stay away from the normative statements though, for now.

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