Median Rent Price: The median value of gross rent prices in an area, measured in dollars
For data from years 2006-10 ~ 2010-14, the American Community Survey capped the median rent price at $2,000. All census tracts with median rent over $2,000 for these years are shown as $2,000.
For data from years 2011-15 ~ 2012-16, the American Community Survey capped the median rent price at $3,500. All census tracts with a median rent of over $3,500 for these years are shown as $3,500.
American Community Survey, 5-year estimates, Table B25064
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
*Note: Each year of available data shown above is a 5-year estimate, or an average of data collected over a five year period. 5-year estimates are used to increase the reliability of the data at small geographies like neighborhoods and census tracts. The years shown on the NDSC map represent the final year of the five year average (e.g. “2010” represents 2006-2010 data, “2011” represents 2007-2011 data, and so on). For the most impactful comparison of data over time, the ACS recommends comparing non-overlapping years (e.g. 2010-14 with 2015-19).
Why are these variables important to measure?
Median Rent Price
Median rent price measures gross rent, which includes rent price plus the cost of utilities like electricity, water, gas, and sewage. Many factors can affect the rent price of a housing unit, including its age, condition, size, and design. Additionally, neighborhood characteristics like proximity to amenities, school district performance, and crime rates and safety have a sizable impact on rent prices. The general strength of the economy and housing markets can also cause rent prices to rise or fall. Because the rate of homeownership has declined since the Great Recession, an increased demand for rental units has caused rent prices to rise.
Median Gross Rent is a measure of the average level of housing affordability in an area. It is a useful tool for comparing affordability on both a neighborhood and national scale.
Roy, Joydeep, Melissa Maynard, and Elaine Weiss. “The hidden costs of the housing crisis: The long-term impact of housing affordability and quality on young children’s odds of success.” Partnership for America’s Economic Success, 2008. Link.