Racial Equity
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

What does this measure?

The proportion of household income that goes toward monthly rent, utilities and fuel, calculated by dividing median rent by median household income for renters, presented for renters of various racial and ethnic groups. A high percentage may reflect relatively high rents, low incomes, or both.

Why is this important?

This figure indicates how affordable housing is for renters. The federal Housing and Urban Development Department guideline for affordability is that rent should consume no more than 30% of household income. High housing costs can force households to choose between paying for housing and meeting other basic needs such as food, clothing and health care.

How is our county performing?

In 2017-21, Hispanic or Latino households in Worcester County spent a larger proportion of their income on rent than other residents. Rents consumed 35% of Latino household incomes compared to 28% for White, 27% for Black or African American, and 22% of Asian households.

African American and Asian households in Worcester County spent lower proportions of their incomes on rent compared to the state and nation. The share of income spent on rent by Latinos is similar to the state and slightly higher than the nation.

Households of all races and ethnicities in the City of Worcester spent higher portions of their income on rent, particularly among Asians at 35% in the City compared to 22% in the County.

Why do these disparities exist?

Historic and current policies and systems, from racist housing policies to employment discrimination to education systems that fail to equitably serve all populations, have prevented people of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos from fully participating in our economy, locking them out of economic opportunity. This has resulted in lower incomes for African Americans and Latinos, which means housing costs can be a greater burden. At the same time, housing costs are rising faster than incomes and affordable housing is limited.

Notes about the data

Multi-year data are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata Sample. The American Community Survey combines five years of responses to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.

Rent as Percent of Household Income by Race/ Ethnicity, 2017-21
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
Worcester County22%27%35%28%
Worcester35%28%38%35%
Massachusetts30%34%36%29%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not presented for all racial/ethnic groups where the sample size was too small to provide reliable data. Regional rates calculated by weighting county medians based on share of population. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Median Rent by Race/Ethnicity, 2017-21
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanic or LatinoWhite
Worcester County$1,433$1,263$1,092$1,128
Worcester$1,285$1,272$1,145$1,161
Massachusetts$1,741$1,390$1,306$1,475

Source: U.S. Census Bureau







INDICATORS TREND
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments 1
Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution 0
Maintaining
Households With Internet Access 1
Increasing
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Voter Participation Rate -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 0
Maintaining
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Population by Age -1
Decreasing
Households by Type 0
Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
80/20 Income Ratio 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Age 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Homelessness 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance 0
Maintaining
Households Without Vehicles 0
Maintaining
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Average Salary by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0
Maintaining
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Employer Size 1
Increasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Self-Employment Revenue 0
Maintaining
People Entering/Leaving County for Work 1
Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Preterm Births 10 Not Applicable*
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels -1
Decreasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
People Without Health Insurance -1
Decreasing
Cancer Incidence 0
Maintaining
Diabetes Incidence -1
Decreasing
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 1
Increasing
Opioid Overdose Mortality Rate 1
Increasing
Children Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Economically Disadvantaged Students 1
Increasing
Disengaged Youth -1
Decreasing
Prekindergarten Participation -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing





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