Percent Of Hh Income To Rent Cu

Chart of the Day: Percent of Income Dedicated to Rent, 2009 – 2016

In case you missed the chart debate that broke out on Twitter yesterday, here are two highlights.

The first is this chart, shared by Tony Damiano, (allegedly) showing a growing divergence between real wages and rents over the last two decades in the Twin Cities metro:

Median Income Median Rent Divergence


It’s a chart that looks familiar to me, mirroring some troubling data about declining real wages that has been popping up again and again in the conversation around affordable housing.

The second is a chart that was shared in a string of tweets from Nick Hannula about how Damiano’s chart was misleading.

Nick’s point was that the wage numbers for Damiano’s analysis are not correct. He writes that “the tweet shows a trend line indicating that median income decreased from 2010 to 2016. This is completely untrue. Median household income (inflation-adjusted) rose from $65,181 to $70,915 over that time period, an increase of 8.8%.”

Instead, Hannula uses a chart that shows percentage of income devoted to rent over time.

Percent Of Hh Income To Rent

Are real wages keeping up with housing costs? If not, by how much, and for whom?

At the very least, for the many people at the bottom end of the wage scale, rising rents and falling wages are a huge problem.

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.