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Nearly one-fourth of Detroit tenant households headed by someone 60 or older: Report

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Share increased substantially in the 10 years to 2017—and will likely continue to rise

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Some 24 percent of Detroit tenant households were headed by someone at least 60 years old in 2017. That is according to a new analysis of Census data from real estate research and listings site RENTCafé.

Detroit, then, has one of the highest shares of so-called senior renter households among major U.S. cities. What’s more, the city’s share increased 48 percent from 2007 to 2017, and the RENTCafé report suggests that the share will only rise. (See chart snapshot below—the first column is the change from 2007 to 2017, and the second is the share.)

This would reflect a general trend in the entire United States. Projections show that senior renter households will make up more than 30 percent of all U.S. renter households by 2035 (they comprised 22 percent in 2017).

And the number of senior renter households was up nationally 43 percent from 2007 to 2017, far outpacing the growth in the number of senior owner households (31 percent).

Two main factors are driving the trend. Americans are living longer—the nation’s median age was 38.1 years old in 2017, the highest ever—and housing prices in some of the nation’s largest metro areas remain financially out of reach for many would-be buyers.