racial equity
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

What does this measure?

The ratio of the median home value divided by the median household income, adjusted for inflation, and shown for homeowners in various racial and ethnic groups.

Why is this important?

This ratio provides a rough estimate of the affordability of homes in a community. A ratio less than 2 or 3 is considered affordable. High housing costs can force households to choose between paying for housing and meeting other basic needs such as food, clothing and health care.

How is Norfolk County doing?

In 2017-21, Norfolk County homes were most unaffordable for Hispanic and Asian homeowners, with ratios of 4.5 and 4.4 respectively, followed by African Americans (4.2) and whites (4.0). These ratios were generally lower (more affordable) than state ratios, particularly for Hispanics, but generally higher (less affordable) than national ratios.

Among comparison counties, Norfolk generally had the lowest ratios for all groups, particularly for Hispanic households - 4.5 in Norfolk compared to Essex (6.3) and Middlesex (6.2). Norfolk's ratios for Asian and white households were similar to Middlesex.

Why do these disparities exist?

Historic and current policies and systems, from racist housing policies to employment discrimination to education systems that fail to equitably serve all populations, have prevented people of color from fully participating in our economy, locking them out of economic opportunity. This has resulted in lower incomes for people of color, which means housing costs are a greater burden.

Notes about the data

Multi-year data are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata Sample. The American Community Survey combines five years of responses to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.

snapshot
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity, 2017-21
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Norfolk County4.44.24.54.0
Essex County3.55.36.34.4
Middlesex County4.55.46.24.1
Massachusetts4.65.46.04.0

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Ratio of median home value divided by the median household income, adjusted for inflation. A ratio less than 2 or 3 is considered affordable. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity.




Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity, 2017-21
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Norfolk County$624,567$374,654$457,926$574,295
Essex County$427,633$389,738$367,482$475,280
Middlesex County$558,843$464,048$495,504$515,589
Massachusetts$540,252$406,431$379,243$438,772

Source: U.S. Census Bureau






INDICATORS
Change in Total Population
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity
Language Diversity
Foreign-Born Population
Population by Age
People with Disabilities
Voter Registration
Voter Participation
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Change in Total Jobs
Unemployment Rate
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Living Wage
Median Household Income
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity
Income in Relation to Poverty Level
People Living in Poverty
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty by Age
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Seniors Living in Poverty
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity
Access to Financial Services by Race/Ethnicity
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity
Overall Housing Cost Burden
Median Home Value
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Renting
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity
Households Receiving SNAP
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity
Food Insecurity
Households Without Vehicles
Means of Transportation to Work by Race/Ethnicity
Protected Land
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality
Early Prenatal Care
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions
People 65 or Older Living Alone
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity



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