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 33% of people (1 in 3) 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.
  • Alaska, South Dakota and Nebraska have the highest numbers of people facing foreclosure.
  • Alabama, Georgia and North Dakota 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 8% of Americans are worried they will soon lose their house and another 4.6% 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
Alaska 18.4% 4.7%
South Dakota 17.4% 3.2%
Nebraska 17.2% 3.1%
West Virginia 16.9% 3.5%
Wyoming 16.1% 2.3%
Colorado 15.4% 4.8%
Arkansas 15.1% 4.1%
Oklahoma 13.6% 2.1%
Vermont 13.0% 4.2%
Ohio 12.6% 4.3%
South Carolina 12.5% 5.8%
Georgia 12.3% 4.9%
Connecticut 12.2% 6.8%
New York 12.1% 8.0%
Minnesota 11.5% 4.9%
Florida 11.5% 2.3%
Mississippi 11.3% 6.3%
Missouri 10.5% 3.2%
Tennessee 10.1% 2.9%
Texas 9.1% 4.3%
Pennsylvania 9.0% 5.1%
Washington 8.9% 3.2%
New Hampshire 8.5% 2.5%
North Dakota 8.4% 6.5%
Rhode Island 7.6% 6.3%
Wisconsin 7.3% 7.7%
Louisiana 6.9% 7.5%
Maryland 6.7% 4.2%
Oregon 6.6% 7.5%
New Mexico 6.1% 7.8%
New Jersey 6.0% 3.5%
Indiana 5.3% 4.1%
North Carolina 5.3% 4.7%
Delaware 4.5% 3.8%
Arizona 3.9% 3.7%
Idaho 3.0% 3.1%
Iowa 2.6% 4.0%
Montana 2.6% 5.5%
Alabama 2.4% 5.5%
Kentucky 2.2% 3.8%
Kansas 1.8% 5.8%
Utah 1.7% 4.0%
California 1.6% 3.9%
Maine 1.6% 1.9%
Massachusetts 1.6% 2.3%
Virginia 1.5% 3.2%
Michigan 1.4% 4.3%
Nevada 0.9% 5.0%
Illinois 0.9% 3.1%
Hawaii NA 5.1%
U.S. Average 8.1% 4.5%

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 27 states where more than 25% of people say they can’t currently pay rent or are worried they won’t be able to in the next two months.

Threat of eviction in each state
State % at risk of eviction
Alabama 44.3%
Georgia 40.0%
North Dakota 40.0%
South Carolina 38.8%
Arkansas 35.8%
Mississippi 35.2%
North Carolina 35.1%
New Mexico 34.2%
Oklahoma 33.1%
Louisiana 32.6%
Texas 31.0%
New Hampshire 30.4%
Wyoming 29.5%
Ohio 28.8%
Tennessee 27.2%
Connecticut 26.8%
Kentucky 26.7%
Maine 26.5%
Arizona 26.2%
Maryland 26.1%
Rhode Island 25.9%
Pennsylvania 25.8%
Nevada 25.7%
Massachusetts 25.6%
Delaware 25.4%
Indiana 25.1%
New Jersey 24.4%
West Virginia 23.9%
Washington 23.3%
Florida 23.1%
California 23.0%
Iowa 22.6%
Missouri 22.6%
Wisconsin 21.2%
South Dakota 21.1%
Nebraska 21.0%
Colorado 21.0%
Oregon 19.2%
New York 18.8%
Utah 18.0%
Alaska 17.9%
Michigan 17.8%
Vermont 17.3%
Kansas 16.2%
Illinois 15.5%
Idaho 14.9%
Virginia 14.7%
Minnesota 13.5%
Hawaii 12.1%
Montana 10.5%
U.S. Average 25.1%

Our analysis also found that people of color are having a harder time paying their mortgages. Black and Hispanic communities are nearly twice as likely to be facing eviction than white communities. White communities, however, are less likely to be behind on their mortgage but more likely to be facing foreclosure.

Eviction and foreclosure by race and gender
Race/ethnicity % facing foreclosure % behind on mortgage payments % at risk of eviction
Asian 9% 6% 20%
Black 14% 11% 36%
Hispanic or Latino 13% 8% 33%
White 18% 3% 17%
Men 19% 5% 21%
Women 18% 5% 28%

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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’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.