This map explores fair market rents for 2-bedroom apartments from 2003 to 2023. For every county in the US, you can see how rent has increased. In some counties, rents have more than tripled.
As the video plays, you can see rents change each year by county. Instead of calculating an average US rent, the map tracks the yearly minimum and maximum rates. This range helps to show the dramatic changes in rent over time. You can also see that the gap between the minimum and maximum rates has grown over time.
The video ends with a map showing the geography of rents in the US. By tilting the 3D map on its side, you can compare how each place has changed in 20 years. While the “four corners” of the US show up as hot spots, many urban places also pop out of the map. Remote states like Alaska and Hawaii have also seen high increases in rents.
Like other historical maps showing change over time, you can see echoes of global events in the data. While rents generally increase over time, you can see them contract in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While some places are more extreme, housing affordability is a national issue now. The minimum rent has more than doubled since 2003. Median income has increased during that time, but not enough to offset the rise in housing costs.