The percentage, as well as number of U.S. households led by renters, is at the highest level in more than 50 years, the Pew Research Center reported this week. 

The research organization's analysis of Census Bureau housing data found that growth in the percentage of renters extends across a variety of demographic factors, including age, education level and ethnicity.

Over a 10-year span from 2006 to 2016, the number of U.S. households grew by a net 7.6 million, according to the Pew report. However, the number of owner households dropped from 76.1 million to 75 million during that time, while the number of renter households grew by nearly nine million as their percentage of all households increased from 31.2% in 2006 to 36.6% last year. "The current renting level exceeds the recent high of 36.2% set in 1986 and 1988 and approaches the rate of 37.0% in 1965," the report states.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.