Who Can Live in Chicago? Investigating Housing Affordability Trends Using 2020 Census Data
The release of the 2020 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) data provides an opportunity to explore how Chicago and its neighborhoods have changed over the past 5 years and a first look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected housing affordability.
Housing affordability pressures have continued to affect low-income households disproportionately, leading to out-migration of vulnerable residents as they seek more affordable places to live. Concurrently, Chicago has experienced an increase in household median income, though median income for renters has continued to stay well below both the city median and the median income for homeowners. Rental vacancies have declined as well, while rents and home values have increased by almost 20% over 5 years. These changes likely contribute to the continued decline of Chicago’s Black population as housing affordability pressures hit low-income households of color the hardest.
Population, Household Size, and Demographics Heading link
Demographics Heading link
|Two or More||2.43%||5.28%||2.86%|
Renters Heading link
|Percent Renter Household||55.7%||54.7%|
|Percent Rent Burdened Household||49.2%||44.7%|
|Median Gross Rent||$965||$1,154|
|Median Home Value||$222,900||$267,600|
|Rental Vacancy Rate||5.9%||4.8%|
|Median Income (Renters)||$33,174||$43,591|
|Median Income (Homeowners)||$73,969||$90,680|
Displacement and Affordability Heading link
Displacement and affordability pressures become more apparent when we look at how family households have declined. Chicago saw a decrease of 46,595 families between 2015 and 2020. The share of those families living in poverty dropped by 8%, also indicating an out-migration of low-income families from the city. The loss is primarily in low-income renter families.
Families and Poverty Heading link
|Families Below Poverty||32.5%||24.2%|
|Percent Renter Families Below Poverty||14.7%||11.2%|
|Percent Homeowner Families Below Poverty||3.46%||3.55%|