Chart of the Day: Housing Types for Different US Cities

Via Wonkblog, here’s a chart that shows what the housing stock of different US cities looks like (from single-family and mobile homes all the way to big apartment towers). While Minneapolis and Saint Paul aren’t on it, you can imagine that they’d be somewhere in between Kansas City/Detroit and Seattle on this spectrum (given when most of the city was developed, and its economic growth since then, etc.).

(For example, check out Milwaukee! It must be close enough to Chicago that far more duplexes were constructed there. And look at how much Philadelphia and Baltimore have in common, which totally makes sense if you think about it.)


Things are changing, though, as Wonkblog says:

As this chart shows, there are a lot of options between the traditional single-family home and the tower. And there are few cities in America — including those with conspicuously rising housing costs — that don’t have room in the mix for more of them.

Seattle, for one, has been reassessing this summer all the land it has historically protected for single-family homes in an effort to create more affordable housing. Seattle has, in fact, a greater share of that kind of housing than Los Angeles. (This debate, though, is not going well, since political power in cities also tends to accrue to the left end of this housing spectrum.)

I wonder what the trend lines would be if Minneapolis were added to this list?

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.