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Interactive: A Dynamic Look At Rental Prices in the USA

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The homeownership rate in the U.S. is at lows not seen since 1965 – and as a result, there are more renters in the housing market than ever before.

With rental prices across the country continuing to rise from this demand, there is one question on the minds of many Americans: how and where can dollars spent on housing be stretched the furthest?

Housing market bloggers RentCafe have taken both of these key variables into account in the graphic below, which compares the square footage of an apartment with a fixed rent of $1,500 in the top 100 most populous U.S. metro areas.

Finding The Right Balance

Data like this helps to answer one of the most pressing problems that a prospective renter may have, which is finding the right balance in the trade-off between cost and size.

Cities like Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and St. Louis offer a benchmark for the American rental prices, as they have an average dollar-to-space ratio of 1:1.

This kind of value can’t be found in most cities on the list, however. And in cities like San Francisco, Boston, and New York, the ratios get really out of whack. In Manhattan, $1,500 gets you just 271 square feet of space, which is the equivalent of $5.53 per square foot.

Space: The Rental Frontier

The disparity between these spatial arrangements is made clear in the graphic below. A fixed $1,500 budget would allow a renter to live in nearly 2,000 square feet of space in Wichita, KS, compared to the aforementioned “closet” in Manhattan:

Comparison of Rental Prices Manhattan and Wichita

Adjusting For Income

Not all renters’ budgets will be fixed at $1,500 per month, of course.

To address the wide variation in income and percentage of income that individual renters will be able to devote to their housing expenses, this calculator shows the equivalent square footage for any given monthly rent in a selection of the cities in the main graphic above.

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Mapped: The 10 U.S. States With the Lowest Real GDP Growth

In this graphic, we show where real GDP lagged the most across America in 2023 as high interest rates weighed on state economies.

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The Top 10 U.S. States, by Lowest Real GDP Growth

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

While the U.S. economy defied expectations in 2023, posting 2.5% in real GDP growth, several states lagged behind.

Last year, oil-producing states led the pack in terms of real GDP growth across America, while the lowest growth was seen in states that were more sensitive to the impact of high interest rates, particularly due to slowdowns in the manufacturing and finance sectors.

This graphic shows the 10 states with the least robust real GDP growth in 2023, based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Weakest State Economies in 2023

Below, we show the states with the slowest economic activity in inflation-adjusted terms, using chained 2017 dollars:

RankStateReal GDP Growth 2023 YoYReal GDP 2023
1Delaware-1.2%$74B
2Wisconsin+0.2%$337B
3New York+0.7%$1.8T
4Missississippi+0.7%$115B
5Georgia+0.8%$661B
6Minnesota+1.2%$384B
7New Hampshire+1.2%$91B
8Ohio+1.2%$698B
9Iowa+1.3%$200B
10Illinois+1.3%$876B
U.S.+2.5%$22.4T

Delaware witnessed the slowest growth in the country, with real GDP growth of -1.2% over the year as a sluggish finance and insurance sector dampened the state’s economy.

Like Delaware, the Midwestern state of Wisconsin also experienced declines across the finance and insurance sector, in addition to steep drops in the agriculture and manufacturing industries.

America’s third-biggest economy, New York, grew just 0.7% in 2023, falling far below the U.S. average. High interest rates took a toll on key sectors, with notable slowdowns in the construction and manufacturing sectors. In addition, falling home prices and a weaker job market contributed to slower economic growth.

Meanwhile, Georgia experienced the fifth-lowest real GDP growth rate. In March 2024, Rivian paused plans to build a $5 billion EV factory in Georgia, which was set to be one of the biggest economic development initiatives in the state in history.

These delays are likely to exacerbate setbacks for the state, however, both Kia and Hyundai have made significant investments in the EV industry, which could help boost Georgia’s manufacturing sector looking ahead.

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