Apartment_List OP t1_j9rkecm wrote

In census data, race and hispanic/latino origin are two distinct concepts.

Race is based on self-identification and has five categories: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. People can identify with one or more of these groups.

Hispanic or Latino origin is based on heritage and also have five categories: None, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and “other Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin."

Hispanic/Latinos can be of any race. An Afro-Caribbean household may be Hispanic and Black. And Anglo-Spanish household may be Hispanic and White.

There is also, of course, nuance in how people identify with the terms Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish, but the Census Bureau uses them interchangeably.


Apartment_List OP t1_j9r36a4 wrote

Homeownership is actually a unit-level stat, not a person-level stat (at least that's how the census collects it). The technical definition is:

  • denominator: occupied housing units
  • numerator: occupied housing units that are owner-occupied

To attach person-level info like age & race, standard practice is to use info about the household head.


Apartment_List OP t1_j9qvxp1 wrote

Unfortunately the subgroups get too small/noisy if we try to split this by city.
But you're right -- large, expensive cities have lower homeownership rates, particularly for Black households. The states with the highest Black homeownership rate are in the Southeastern US: South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia.


Apartment_List OP t1_j9qsz9r wrote

This chart uses 100+ years of US Census data to show homeownership rates for each generation at different stages of life.
A lot has been said about millennials struggling to afford homeownership. But by age 40, white millennials have reached a homeownership rate of 70%, higher than Gen X and only a few percentage points shy of earlier generations. However for Black millennials, only 39% own homes by age 40. For three consecutive generations, the Black homeownership rate has slipped and the racial homeownership gap has widened.
Some additional commentary for each generation:
GREATEST (born 1901-1927)
The fastest growth in US homeownership took place between 1940-80, when the Greatest generation was in their 30s-70s. This was driven by a post-WWII construction boom and mass migration to the suburbs. The era was characterized by legal racial discrimination, worsening segregation, and “white flight.” White families bought homes in the suburbs, while Black families bought homes in the emptied city centers.
SILENT (born 1928-1945)
The suburban housing boom also boosted homeownership for the Silent, who were in their teens-50s at the time. For both white and Black households, Silent homeownership would eclipse Greatest homeownership.
BABY BOOMER (born 1946-1964)
The oldest generation hit by the Great Recession. Boomers were 44-62 in 2008 and you can see their homeownership rates dip during those ages. But the effect was worse for Black homeowners, who were 76% more likely than white homeowners to experience foreclose during the market crash.
GENERATION X (born 1965-1980)
The unequal effects of the recession hit younger generations too: Gen X was in their 30s and 40s. White Gen Xers reached 50% homeownership by age 29, whereas it would take Black Gen Xers until age 54.
MILLENNIAL (both 1981-1996)
Millennials came of age during the housing bubble and homeownership has grown slower than previous generations. Black millennial homeownership is growing at a similar pace to white households born nearly 100 years earlier.
Full Report:
Black homeownership rebounding but stagnant since the 1970s
Data Source:
US Census Bureau, Decennial Census (1920-1990) and American Community Survey (2020-2021). Microdata accessed via IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota.
Chart designed in R using packages ipumsr, dplyr, ggplot2.