Our latest Zogby Poll® shows an overwhelming majority (84%) of Americans were current with their rent payments, which is slightly higher than the 81% of Americans who were current with their rent payments from our last survey in December 2020. However, fifteen percent (down from 20% in December 2020) were at least one month behind, while 8% (10% in December 2020) were at least two months behind on their monthly rent payments.
When we examined how Americans were dealing with their rental payments a year ago, most had the advantage of the rent/eviction moratorium established by the Biden Administration and CDC. Since then, the rent moratorium was renewed by the federal government. If the pandemic were to get worse with the Omicron variant and cities and states are forced to close the economy again, millions more people might not be able to meet their monthly rent obligations. While certain states have passed legislation to allow residents to miss monthly rent payments without the fear of eviction, the larger problem is being delayed by state and federal leaders and the "can is being kicked down the road."
The youngest renters aged 18-29 were less likely to be current on their rent (80% present, 74% previous year) than older renters aged 65+ (98% present, 97% previous year), who were almost always current with their monthly rent.
Also, White renters (87% present, 86% previous year) were more likely to be current compared to African American (84% present, 78% previous year) and Hispanic renters (77% present, 75% previous year). Hispanic renters were also more likely to be at least two months behind (11%) compared with African American (9%) and White renters (6%).
Where renters resided also seemed to influence how current they were with their monthly rent payments. Renters in small cities (81% present, 74% previous year) were less likely to be current compared to renters in large cities (86% present, 80% previous year) and the suburbs (87% present, 86% previous year). Renters in small cities (11%) were also the most likely to be at least two months behind on their rent compared with renters in large cities (7%) and the suburbs (6%).
As expected, there was also a difference in how current and late renters were with their monthly payments in the U.S., when we broke the data down by income and education.
The number of upper income respondents who were present on their rent dipped from 98% (previous year) to 93%, whose household income was $100K+ annually. This was in comparison to 82% of lower income respondents (equal to or less than $25K household income annually), who were present on their rent (77% of low-income renters the previous year). Also, renters who had college degrees (90% present, 88% previous year) were more present with their rent payment than those who did not have college degrees (83% present, 80% previous year).
2020 and 2021 were difficult years for most due to the pandemic. As a result of the government stimulus and businesses fully re-opening, the U.S. economy is doing better as a whole, but the outcome has been a "K shaped" economic recovery that has not benefited the lower and middle wage earners as much as the upper wage earners. Hence, the Biden Administration is making the case for its Build Back Better stimulus package. With inflation raging, three trillion more in spending by the U.S. federal government might hurt working class and middle-class voters significantly more, especially at the grocery store, not to mention their already surging rents. While the stock market melts upward, most Americans are on a downward trajectory.
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
11/3/21 - 11/4/21
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 1015 renters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1015 is +/- 3.1 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.