Economy / Housing Burden


Housing Burden


When a significant portion of a household’s income is devoted to housing expenses, there is less money available to cover other basic needs such as food, health care and transportation, which may in turn result in financial insecurity. The housing cost burden indicator measures housing expenses for homeowners and renters. Expenses include mortgage payments or rent, utilities, real estate taxes, and other fees, as a percentage of household income. Consistent with other literature on housing burden calculations, this indicator considers households that spend more than 30% of their income on housing expenses to be housing cost burdened.

When determining housing cost burden by age and race/ethnicity, this indicator only considers the age and race/ethnicity of the householder, who is the individual who filled out the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

The data dashboard below shows current and recent trend data for residents with housing burden in Forsyth County.

Dashboard: Housing Burden

Understanding Housing Burden Spatially

The map below visualizes the percentage of residents with Housing Burden by census tract across Forsyth County (2013-2017).

Key Point: Rates of Housing Burden Stays Stable

  • Housing burden rates have remained fairly stable over time with the exception of 2011 where there was a higher rate as compared to 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Key Point: Housing Burden in Forsyth County Higher than State Average

  • The 2017 overall housing burden rates for Guilford and Durham Counties were similar to Forsyth County, The overall North Carolina rate was significantly lower than Forsyth County.

Key Point: Disparities Present in Housing Burden Rates for Residents by Age

  • Residents under 25 years generally sustain higher housing burdens than older residents.

Key Point: Disparities Present in Residents Experiencing Housing Burden by Race/Ethnicity

  • White , non-Hispanic residents have consistently significantly lower housing burden rates than African American and Hispanic/Latino residents.
Notes on Data

With the exception of 2017, due to the small sample size of the Hispanic/Latino population, the rate estimate for Hispanic/Latino residents are not as reliable.

If you are interested in using data from this report for rigorous purposes, please contact for a consultation on how best to proceed.

Literature References
  1. Cramer, R. & Shanks, T. (2014). The assets perspective: The rise of asset building and its impact on social policy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

  2. Schwartz, M. & Wilson, E. (2007).  Who can afford to live in a home?: A look at data from the 2006 American Community Survey.  Retrieved from:

Data Sources
ACS public use microdata sample (PUMS). Washington, D.C. :U.S. Census Bureau.