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Report: Blue State Residents Pay Higher Rents

Phil Hall
Jan 21, 2016
In a survey timed to the increasingly rancorous presidential primary season, Apartment List has compiled data to see if renters in Red States or Blue States carry greater rental burdens

In a survey timed to the increasingly rancorous presidential primary season, Apartment List has compiled data to see if renters in Red States or Blue States carry greater rental burdens. And the answer: It appears that Blue State renters are, to paraphrase a campaign slogan belonging to a certain Vermont senator, feeling the burn.

“Democrat-leaning states are much more expensive,” said Andrew Woo, data scientist at Apartment List. “With the exception of Alaska, the 12 most expensive states in the U.S. are all blue. The median rent in Hawaii, the most expensive state, was $1,448 in 2014, or 55 percent more than the national average. On a population-weighted basis, the median rent in blue states was $1,073, compared to $837 for red states–a $236 difference each month. That’s enough for two ski passes or even a plane ticket for a weekend getaway.”

And while it appears that Red State renters have (pardon the GOP pun) trumped their Blue State peers–Blue States make up all but two of the 17 lowest-rent states–Woo added that this does not be seen as a reflection on politics but on local economics.

“Popular states like Hawaii and California experience higher rents, but it may be possible that renters there make enough to afford the expensive rents,” Woo continued. “Looking at the data, we see that median renter incomes are significantly higher in Democrat-leaning states. The median income in blue states was $37,945 in 2014, which was 21 percent higher than the median income of $31,430 in red states. Alaska is the only Republican state in the top ten highest earning states, whereas red states account for 15 of the 20 states with the lowest renter incomes.”

Published
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