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 5% of people are behind on their mortgage payments.
  • California, Vermont and Louisiana have the highest numbers of people facing foreclosure.
  • Alabama, Kentucky and South Carolina have the highest numbers of people facing eviction.
  • Nearly 51% of people who are already behind on their rent feel that they will lose their home within the next two months

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 5% 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
California 12% 6%
Vermont 11% 2%
Louisiana 10% 7%
Georgia 10% 7%
Texas 10% 7%
North Carolina 10% 7%
Tennessee 10% 9%
Wyoming 9% 5%
New Mexico 9% 5%
Maryland 9% 6%
Nevada 9% 5%
Arkansas 9% 6%
Florida 9% 6%
Ohio 9% 5%
Rhode Island 8% 3%
South Carolina 8% 5%
Oklahoma 8% 4%
Mississippi 8% 4%
North Dakota 7% 3%
Illinois 7% 4%
Kentucky 7% 3%
Alaska 7% 6%
Michigan 7% 3%
Nebraska 7% 5%
Connecticut 7% 3%
Colorado 7% 5%
Hawaii 7% 8%
Kansas 6% 3%
West Virginia 6% 7%
Indiana 6% 5%
Utah 6% 6%
Alabama 6% 5%
Arizona 6% 4%
Montana 6% 3%
New Hampshire 6% 4%
Minnesota 6% 5%
Pennsylvania 6% 3%
New Jersey 6% 6%
Delaware 6% 6%
Massachusetts 5% 5%
New York 5% 6%
Idaho 5% 5%
Virginia 5% 4%
Missouri 5% 4%
Maine 5% 4%
Iowa 4% 2%
Washington 4% 3%
Oregon 4% 2%
South Dakota 4% 2%
Wisconsin 3% 1%
U.S. Average 8% 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 19 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 42%
Kentucky 40%
South Carolina 38%
Arkansas 35%
Louisiana 34%
Georgia 34%
Nebraska 31%
Texas 31%
Tennessee 30%
North Carolina 30%
Oklahoma 30%
Mississippi 28%
New York 26%
Michigan 26%
Virginia 26%
Alaska 26%
Pennsylvania 25%
Nevada 25%
New Jersey 25%
Wyoming 24%
North Dakota 24%
Ohio 24%
California 24%
Indiana 23%
Montana 22%
Florida 22%
Hawaii 22%
Rhode Island 21%
Connecticut 21%
Arizona 21%
Kansas 20%
Maryland 20%
Illinois 20%
Minnesota 20%
Missouri 20%
Iowa 19%
Maine 19%
Massachusetts 19%
Colorado 19%
New Mexico 19%
Delaware 19%
Washington 18%
Wisconsin 18%
Oregon 18%
Vermont 18%
West Virginia 16%
South Dakota 16%
Utah 15%
Idaho 14%
New Hampshire 9%
U.S. average 25%

The threat of eviction is even more real for people who are already behind on their rent. We found that 25% of people are behind on their rent in Kentucky. And of those 25%, 61% say they will likely be evicted in the next two months. More than 75% of people who are behind on their rent in Arkansas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Tennessee, Idaho and Indiana fear they will also lose their homes in the next two months

Number of people behind on rent in each state
State % behind on rent % of people who are behind on rent facing eviction
Kentucky 25% 61%
Arkansas 24% 78%
New York 23% 38%
South Carolina 21% 58%
Georgia 21% 62%
North Dakota 19% 85%
Alabama 19% 70%
Maine 18% 19%
New Jersey 18% 33%
Illinois 18% 44%
Florida 17% 61%
Missouri 17% 57%
Wyoming 16% 27%
New Mexico 16% 81%
North Carolina 15% 38%
Oklahoma 15% 67%
Mississippi 15% 35%
Louisiana 14% 75%
Nevada 14% 56%
New Hampshire 14% 12%
Michigan 14% 57%
Tennessee 13% 76%
California 13% 46%
Texas 12% 64%
Connecticut 12% 42%
Iowa 12% 65%
West Virginia 12% N/A
Alaska 11% 62%
Maryland 11% 39%
Montana 11% N/A
Oregon 11% 39%
Ohio 10% 19%
Minnesota 10% 23%
Wisconsin 10% 38%
Massachusetts 9% 20%
Nebraska 9% 53%
Rhode Island 9% 52%
Kansas 8% 49%
Pennsylvania 8% 49%
Hawaii 8% 45%
Delaware 8% N/A
Washington 8% 65%
Virginia 8% 61%
South Dakota 7% 71%
Arizona 7% 61%
Colorado 7% 43%
Idaho 6% 94%
Indiana 5% 78%
Utah 4% 41%
Vermont 3% N/A
U.S. average 14% 51%

Our analysis also found that people of color are having a harder time paying their mortgages and rent. Black and Hispanic communities are significantly more likely to be facing eviction and foreclosure or be behind on their mortgage. We also found that while the financial position of black and Hispanic communities has stayed largely the same throughout the pandemic, white communities have seen their risk of eviction or foreclosure decline.

Eviction or foreclosure rates by gender  

 

Eviction or Foreclosure rates by race/ethnicity  

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.