United States Renter Confidence Survey

National study of renter confidence in the economy, homeownership, and cities
Here's how your state ranks on:
Overall satisfaction
Safety and crime rate
Jobs and career opportunities
Recreational activities
Quality of schools
Commute time
State and local taxes
Public transit
Best Worst
Full data available when viewing on a non-mobile device.
Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released results from its second annual Apartment List Renter Survey. The study had more than 30,000 respondents nationwide, making it the largest survey focused exclusively on renters. It provides insight into renters’ satisfaction with their cities across a range of dimensions, including safety, career opportunities, and affordability.

With the US homeownership rate at a 50-year low, the size of the renter population is at an all-time high. 37% of US households – 110 million Americans – rent, but there are few studies that directly ask renters what is most important to them. Apartment List’s study provides insight into what cities must do to meet the needs of renters nationwide.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Among large cities, Boston, Denver, Charlotte, and San Francisco were the top rated cities for renter satisfaction. Baltimore, Memphis, and Detroit received the lowest ratings.
  • In general, however, small and mid-sized cities received better ratings: 52% of them received an A- or higher, compared to only 24% of large cities.
  • California had six cities that received A+ overall scores: Burbank, Chula Vista, Glendale, Irvine, Pasadena, and Santa Monica. Arizona, Colorado, and Virginia each had two cities with A+ ratings.
  • The strongest predictor of overall satisfaction was local job and career opportunities: Cities that scored an A- or above on that metric were nearly 3.6x as likely to score an A- or above for city satisfaction as those that scored a C or below.
  • The second most important factor for city satisfaction was satisfaction with safety; however, nationwide, only 52% of renters were either satisfied or very satisfied with their local safety and crime rates.
  • Affordability continues to be a concern for renters, with 44% of renters saying that they are “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with affordability in their city.
  • Renters in Overland Park, KS; Burbank, CA; and Grand Prairie, TX were most satisfied with their schools, with satisfaction rates of 78% or higher. Detroit, MI; Richmond, CA; and San Francisco, CA were the worst rated cities for schools.
  • The four factors that had the biggest influence on overall satisfaction were safety, career opportunities, recreation, and affordability. Data from Apartment List’s renter survey is available upon request, and contains specific information for all 50 states and more than 120 cities nationwide.

Renters say:

  • "Infrastructure wasn't made to accommodate the millions of people living here now; so roads are clogged, affordable apartments are hard to find, and parking is an unholy nightmare. The weather is amazing, and there's always so much to do! I love LA, even if it's got some major issues." --Jennifer H., Los Angeles, CA
  • "Chicago has everything! Public transit, beautiful lakefront, and lots of activities - especially in the summer. The only bad thing is the weather in the winter." --Lauren S., Chicago, IL
  • "I love that there is so much to do in Houston! There is always an event you have not heard of or a new place to try for dinner. The weather is awesome! It's also a very diverse city. I am constantly learning about other cultures and have the opportunity to meet all different types of people." --Megan S., Houston, TX
  • "San Francisco has a great combination of a beautiful city, well paying jobs, and access to the outdoors. It's expensive, but worth it." --Anon., San Francisco, CA
  • "Resources and activities are limited and or hard to find. The quality of schools are very poor. The crime rate is high and overall cleanliness of city is horrible. However, this city is good for public transportation but it's dirty in the subway and on the buses."--Nakiya D., Baltimore, MD
  • "I hate almost everything about Newark, NJ! The people, their attitudes, placement of homes, the trashy neighborhoods, the carelessness from landlords & neighbors, the rent, no healthy food markets, prices for food, a corner store...everywhere you look. It's a horrible place to live." --Alecia B., Newark, NJ
  • "I love all the pet-friendly, outdoorsy, tea-drinking, free spirited folks. I love the breathtaking Rocky Mountains and the accessibility to public parks." --Bonnie B., Denver, CO
  • "I appreciate the cost of living here. Since I am a senior, my income seems to go further, primarily because of lower taxes and rents, especially with the amenities you receive at many of the rental properties." --Yvonne S., Atlanta, GA
Survey Cities and States: