THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH WHERE THE INCOME IS TOO DAMN LOW Inspired by a report from Harvard’s Joint Center on Housing Studies that compares household income to the percentage of income used to pay rent for various income levels, Chronicle biz reporter Lydia DePillis charts similar stats for Harris County. “Houston is slightly less cost burdened than the national average,” she concludes, “with 46.7 percent of its renter households paying more than a third of their income on rent.” According to her analysis of Harris County data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, “the disparity between high and low-income areas is still present: In the third of ZIP codes with the highest median household incomes, 31 percent of renters pay more than 35 percent of their income on housing. In the bottom third of ZIP codes, the share is 49 percent.” Her graph, shown above, plots median household income (on the X-axis) against the percentage of people paying more than 35 percent of their incomes on rent — for every Harris County Zip Code. [Houston Chronicle] Image: Houston Chronicle/Lydia DePillis
I can’t figure out what these graphs are supposed to be telling me. That people with more money spend less of their income on housing? That poor people have a harder time making ends meet? Isn’t that a given, and kind of the whole point of money?
@ Memebag: I had the same exact thought as I was about 25% through the article – and realized that they were letting me know that water was wet. Of course, rich people are going to pay a smaller percentage of their income on rent – by golly, they HAVE more a larger pie to start with.
I hope they didn’t pay a lot of money for this study. $50 dollars would have been too much.
Ditto to all your comments. Can’t believe someone (probably taxpayers) pays for these studies.
“compares household income to the percentage of income used to pay rent”
These variables are already mathematically correlated. Of course there will be a correlation. This is dumb.