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From: Newsletter
To: Rep. Perry, L.,
Subject: Data: Cities Where Wages Haven't Kept Pace With Rising Housing Costs
Date: 2013-12-19T20:49:19Z

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DEC. 19, 2013

Cities Where Wages Haven't Kept Pace With Rising Housing Costs

Mike Maciag

In Miami Gardens and Hialeah, Fla., most renters pay more than 35 percent of their incomes on housing and utility costs. The two Miami suburbs typify a troubling trend that’s emerged in a large number of U.S. cities where enough good-paying jobs aren’t available to adequately pay for costly housing.

Many Americans – particularly renters – saw housing costs steadily climb in recent years. At the same time, wages remained relatively flat for most segments of the workforce, meaning families spent a greater share of their incomes on housing instead of food, health and other necessities.

Nationally, slightly more than half of rental households, monthly gross rent costs last year accounted for 30 percent or more of household income -- the general rule-of-thumb maximum that families should not exceed. For homeowners with a mortgage, about a third of households reported housing-related costs surpassing the 30-percent standard, according to Census estimates.

While the problem is growing nationally, it's most apparent in select urban areas. A review of Census Bureau data for 2010-2012 indicates that in more than three-quarters of all larger cities with populations exceeding 100,000, the majority of rental households exceed the 30-percent standard.

Continue reading and view data for the 300 largest cities

Where Most Residents Walk to Work and How Some Cities Make Strides

Mike Maciag

Densely populated neighborhoods, commercial district city squares and multiple public transit lines all span the city of Cambridge, Mass., creating an environment ideal for walking.

The most recent Census counts estimate nearly a quarter of the city’s residents walk to work, far more than any other larger U.S. city.

Many localities across the country are continuing to push policies and planning initiatives aimed at making communities more walkable. Recent census figures depict a wide variation in commuting habits among the nation’s urban centers, showing some have done much more than others.

Nationally, only a small fraction of people primarily walk to work – the measure the Census Bureau estimates in its annual American Communities Survey. In a select group of cities, though, recent data illustrates the extent to which walking has emerged as an everyday means of commuting.

Continue reading
View our interactive walkable cities map


Transforming Water Management in Local Government

Find out why public-private partnerships are the best way forward to solving water management challenges in state and local government. Learn more.

Other Headlines

Government Job Growth Among Weakest of Any Industry
Report Ranks States with Best and Worst Tax Administration
Report: Hunger, Homelessness on the Rise in Many Cities
States Make Turnaround in Higher Ed Funding
Spending Levels Rebounding for Most States, Report Finds

Map of the Month: City Population Shifts

Map shows changes in city population estimates.

Governing Data

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Data and map show how many people receive food stamps in each state.


Interactive map shows use of public transit for metropolitan areas throughout the country.


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Public Safety and Justice

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Read results of Governing's latest workforce survey.

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News in Numbers

0.4 percent

While private sector employers expanded payrolls by about 2 percent over the past 12 months, local government employment only increased 0.4 percent.

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