Housing ExpendituresDecember 2021
The median percentage of income spent on housing was highest in renter households and lowest in households that owned without a mortgage, regardless of whether the household had a Social Security beneficiary or not
The median share of income spent on housing by renter households with one or more Social Security beneficiaries was 32.5 percent, while non-beneficiary households spent 28.0 percent. For homeowner households without a mortgage, the median share of income spent was 12.4 percent for beneficiary households and 9.0 percent for non-beneficiary households.
Households that included at least one Social Security beneficiary spent a larger share of income on housing than households with no beneficiaries, regardless of whether it was a renter household or a homeowner household with or without a mortgage
The median share of income spent on housing by homeowner households with a mortgage was 25.1 percent for beneficiary households and 19.6 percent for non-beneficiary households.
- Housing is the largest single expenditure category for U.S. households. 1
- Given the effects of housing expenditures on household budgets, differences between households with and without a Social Security beneficiary present are of potential interest to policymakers and the public.
- Housing expenditures include rent, mortgage interest and fees, property taxes, insurance, water, electricity, gas, and heating oil.
- Social Security beneficiary is any person receiving an Old-Age, Survivor, or Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefit.
|Percentile||Rent||Own with mortgage||Own without mortgage|
|One or more beneficiaries||No beneficiaries||One or more beneficiaries||No beneficiaries||One or more beneficiaries||No beneficiaries|
SOURCE: Purcell, Patrick J. 2021. “Housing Expenditures of Social Security Beneficiaries, 2005–2018.” Social Security Bulletin, 81(3) 1–18.
NOTES: All content is simplified for presentation. Please see source material for full details and caveats.
The findings and conclusions presented in this summary are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the agency.
1 In 2018, of the 121.5 million U.S. households, 36.0 percent were renters, 39.6 percent were homeowners with a mortgage and 24.4 percent were homeowners without a mortgage.