High housing costs, a potential end to a moratorium on evictions and prolonged unemployment have many Americans worried about keeping a roof over their heads. We found that nationwide, nearly 25% of people (1 in 4) are worried they will face foreclosure or eviction in the next two months.

Key findings:

  • Almost 6% of people are behind on their mortgage payments.
  • Rhode Island, Louisiana and Arkansas have the highest numbers of people facing foreclosure.
  • Maine, Arizona and Colorado have the highest numbers of people facing eviction.

Nationwide, housing costs have risen by nearly 70% in the last decade. Income, meanwhile, is up only 30% over the same time period. Combine this disparity with record pandemic unemployment and we have a situation where housing has simply become unaffordable for many people.

Our team of analysts found that 7% of Americans are worried they will soon lose their house and another 6% are behind on their mortgage payments. Those numbers, however, vary significantly from state to state.

Foreclosure fears in each state
State % facing foreclosure % behind on mortgage payments
Rhode Island 14.5% 5.0%
Louisiana 12.1% 7.9%
Arkansas 11.5% 12.2%
Nevada 10.9% 7.4%
Georgia 9.5% 9.4%
Texas 8.8% 8.0%
Mississippi 8.7% 11.8%
Alaska 8.0% 6.3%
South Carolina 7.5% 7.1%
New Jersey 7.1% 8.3%
Illinois 7.1% 4.1%
Tennessee 7.0% 4.9%
Florida 7.0% 6.0%
Massachusetts 6.9% 5.9%
Pennsylvania 6.8% 5.9%
North Carolina 6.7% 5.6%
Connecticut 6.7% 9.0%
New York 6.7% 10.3%
Maine 6.4% 4.7%
Oklahoma 6.3% 5.4%
Maryland 6.3% 6.5%
California 6.3% 7.0%
New Mexico 5.9% 6.3%
West Virginia 5.9% 5.0%
Michigan 5.5% 5.8%
Virginia 5.5% 5.7%
Indiana 5.3% 4.9%
North Dakota 5.2% 3.8%
Minnesota 5.1% 4.7%
Alabama 5.0% 6.4%
Missouri 5.0% 5.1%
Oregon 5.0% 4.2%
Kentucky 4.8% 1.9%
South Dakota 4.8% 5.2%
Washington 4.7% 3.4%
Delaware 4.7% 8.9%
Colorado 4.6% 5.1%
Arizona 4.5% 4.1%
New Hampshire 4.3% 2.8%
Ohio 4.2% 7.1%
Wisconsin 4.2% 5.9%
Idaho 4.0% 3.3%
Hawaii 4.0% 4.6%
Utah 4.0% 4.5%
Wyoming 3.8% 4.2%
Vermont 3.6% 4.2%
Nebraska 3.5% 3.1%
Kansas 3.4% 3.3%
Iowa 3.1% 2.9%
Montana 2.1% 1.6%

While many people are worried about losing their homes, the threat of eviction looms even larger. Rental prices are rising in suburban areas, and we found 11 states where more than 25% of people are worried they won’t be able to afford rent in the next two months.

Threat of eviction in each state
State % at risk of eviction
Maine 70.2%
Arizona 40.8%
Colorado 40.1%
Wyoming 38.4%
Rhode Island 38.4%
Arkansas 33.1%
Alaska 32.3%
Nebraska 29.4%
Wisconsin 27.3%
Oregon 27.3%
Ohio 27.0%
Georgia 23.9%
Illinois 23.2%
Virginia 22.5%
South Carolina 22.0%
Oklahoma 22.0%
New Hampshire 20.9%
Delaware 19.1%
Texas 18.6%
Louisiana 18.2%
New Mexico 17.6%
North Carolina 15.2%
Florida 15.1%
Minnesota 14.9%
Washington 14.0%
New York 13.9%
Michigan 12.8%
Utah 12.3%
Indiana 12.0%
Iowa 11.4%
Massachusetts 10.3%
Vermont 10.0%
Pennsylvania 9.9%
Alabama 9.7%
Nevada 9.2%
Missouri 8.6%
California 6.4%
Kansas 6.2%
Maryland 6.1%
Mississippi 5.6%
Connecticut 4.4%
Montana 4.4%
Kentucky 3.8%
Hawaii 3.5%
Tennessee 3.5%
Kentucky 6.8%
Kansas 6.7%
Nebraska 6.6%
Iowa 6.0%
Montana 3.7%
Note: Eviction numbers for Iowa, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia were not available.

Our analysis also found that people of color are having a harder time paying their mortgages. Asian, Black and Hispanic communities are two to three times more likely to be facing foreclosure or be behind on their mortgage payments than white communities. White communities, though, faced a similar struggle when it came to paying rent. More than 45% of both white and Black communities are worried they’ll be evicted in the next two months.

Eviction or foreclosure by race and ethnicity
Race/ethnicity % facing foreclosure % behind on mortgage payments % at risk of eviction
Asian 9.3% 8.2% 11.9%
Black 11.9% 12.1% 47.4%
Hispanic or Latino 13.6% 13.1% 36.0%
White 4.4% 4.3% 46.7%

As troublesome as the data presented in this study is, America’s struggle with affordable housing is a problem that may soon get worse. An increase in unemployment benefits, stimulus checks and a moratorium on evictions kept many people in their homes during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but those programs appear to be winding down. President Joe Biden has proposed a $640 billion plan to address a shortage in affordable housing, but the question is, will that be enough?

Methodology

Foreclosure, rent and mortgage payment information was compiled using data from the United States Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Surveys. Our analysts then broke that data down along state and demographic lines to determine the number of people facing foreclosure or eviction.