TRD Insights: These cities have the most cramped and spacious apartments

More expensive places tend to have less apartment space

TRD New York TRD INSIGHTS /
Apr.April 29, 2020 08:00 AM
(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Queens, New York, is home to some of the smallest and most crowded apartments in the country, according to a report from online apartment search company RentCafe.

The report, which combined Yardi Matrix apartment data and census population figures, found that the most crowded apartments are in the most crowded cities. This is generally attributable to some combination of smaller apartments and larger households.

Interestingly, apartment space per person also covaries with median gross rent and foreign-born population share. Places with higher rents and foreign-born populations also tend to have less apartment space per person, according to a TRD analysis of RentCafe’s topline figures and census data.

Apartment Space Per Person vs. Median Rent and Foreign Population

SOURCE: TRD analysis of RentCafe data

Queens has one of the largest shares of foreign-born residents of all counties in the United States at 47.3 percent, and its median gross rent of $1,520 is nearly 50 percent higher than the national average. Queens places third from last in Rent Cafe’s apartment space ranking, with only 329 square feet per person. Apartments in Queens tend to be smaller than those in other cities, with an average apartment size of 724 square feet.

Louisville, Kentucky, where apartments have the most space per household member of any U.S. city, has a foreign-born population share of 7.4 percent and a median gross rent of $812.

Louisville and Queens reflect the dynamic of most of the places at the top and bottom of the rankings of apartment space per person. Areas with more apartment space generally have lower median gross rents and smaller foreign-born populations than the national average.


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