What's up with this? According to new 2010 census data released yesterday, the nation has many more renters--and fewer homeowners--than estimated.
Compared to the March 2010 Current Population Survey estimates, the April 1, 2010 census counted 3.6 million more renter-occupied housing units and 2.8 million fewer owner-occupied housing units. The homeownership rate for the March-April 2010 time period was lower than estimated--just 65.1 percent according to the census rather than the 67.0 percent estimated by surveys. As economist Tom Lawler says on Calculated Risk, "From a demographer's standpoint, these are HUGE differences." He's right, it is huge. Expect heads to roll and thinking about the housing market to be revised--downward.
Interestingly, average household size according to the 2010 census (2.58 people) was little different from the estimated number (2.59).