A young family with one breadwinner and a couple of small kids might reasonably want to live in a 2BR, in many countries not just USA.
E.g. a 1BR in San Jose where I live goes for $2100/mo, a 2BR goes for $2400 (obviously, it's different everywhere - a friend of mine is renting a room in SF for $2K+).
It makes sense for a couple to get a 2BR even on a single income if it's good enough (and usually, once you can afford spending $2100/mo on rent, you can afford $2400 too). For 15% increase in rent, one gets the ability to e.g. comfortably invite friends/parents from out of state for a couple of days.
Of course, single-income no-kids couple does not look immediately look like the norm these days; but once you think of it, there are plenty of situations other than children that make sense for such a scenario: one of the partners might be in school / looking for a job / changing fields / being involved in something that doesn't provide a stable salary (arts, entrepreneurship) / did I mention start-ups? / etc
That norm is quickly going out of style at least
Not convinced: "Among married-couple families with children, 96.8 percent had at least one employed parent, and 61.1 percent had both parents employed" -- https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/employment-in-families-wit...
My wife would love nothing more than to raise the kids but making ends meet is proving a tough tradeoff
Another factor is rents and house prices. If everyone you are competing with for that house can pay the mortgage on two incomes, you aren't going to afford it on one. So that's economic necessity I guess.
You can't logically conclude that based on that one data point.
Jokes aside, it was a data point to illustrate a change that I know takes place also in other countries; that women account for an ever larger fraction of people with higher education. The number of families where the mother makes more money than the man is slowly increasing.
I think if you dig into the data for US universities, you'll find that women are underrepresented in high-paying STEM majors and over-represented in low-paying majors like Dance or Early Childhood Development or Pre-1860 Russian Literature. Until that changes, I don't think your prediction is likely to come to pass.
That sounds like a value judgement. What difference does it make?
There are slightly fewer 3br apartments there, so sometimes those prices are higher. Of course, in many small-to-midsize towns there was the options of renting a trailer for the same price as the 1-2 bedroom apartments.
One city was an exception: A college town I lived in. It was fairly common for rent to go up with each inhabitant because they were accustomed to making separate leases for each student. Mighty expensive when renting to a family, but made sense for their normal renters.
If you are a single person with a single income, you are not renting a 2BR. You might have a roommate, but in that case you are a two income household splitting the rent on a 2BR.
Single income for 2BR is such an odd case to base an entire statistic around.
I have a 2br in Chicago and its very affordable on one income
It may be the wrong choice for this analysis but it's not some weird outlier in many places in the country. Over the years, I've known many single people renting 2BR apartments and even buying houses.
Hi, I'm a single person on a single income renting a 2BR townhouse.
I've lived in my current home for just over a decade (since November 2007), and during this time I've only had roommates for two very short periods. Both of those times were when I temporarily took in friends who were suffering from long-term unemployment and had nowhere else to go. One of them, in 2008, got a new job and moved out a few months after he moved in with me, and the other, in 2011, lived with me for two weeks before he mended fences with his parents and decided to move back to his hometown.
I think I might have had a roommate for a grand total of six months in the nearly 11 years I've lived here.
I like my space.
(edit: Oh, and my best friend just bought a huge house in an exurb. He's single and has no roommates.)
We live in a 4BR with a basement, with two roommates who will be (slowly) transitioning out of the house over the next couple years. And with two dogs. It's literally basically Just Enough House to feel comfortable for us.
Or a married couple with children and a stay at home parent. Or a working adult and their non-SS-eligible (e.g., immigrated too late in life to get the needed work credits) elderly parent that they care for. Or...
> If you are a single person with a single income, you are not renting a 2BR.
You might for a home office, especially if you do a kind of work from home that involves substantial paperwork and reference material, not just a simple workstation.
It is a mistake to assume that this justifies conclusions about the general population.
> From my experience
> the general population.
I've already qualified my comment, and both of us were discussing personal experiences.
If you'd prefer to discuss the general population instead of trading personal experiences, here is some historical data from pew, as well as the most recent report from the BLS:
This shows that my experience is closer to the general population than the experience I responded to. I'd venture a guess that the distribution of that ~62% isn't uniform across the country and is likely weighted by cost of living (which is likely why our experiences differ).
Also, the rent jungle numbers look a bit conservative for palo alto. In PA a 220 sq ft loft costs nearly 2000$/mo to rent. I think the 3900$/mo figure they have is a bit conservative for PA.
Furthermore, they compared 2BD as their normalization factor, rather than $/sq foot. I would imagine the more expensive areas get less Square footage for a given 2BD apartment.
And, notice how they conveniently didn't even mention any comparisons of salary to housing Buy costs.
I'd like to see the 10%, 50% (median), and 90% quantiles for (after-tax salary - housing cost). I bet the rankings would be quite different depending on which of these you chose.
We know that income is generally power-law distributed, so we also know that the majority of incomes will be below the mean. An analysis like this is bordering on nonsensical. It's too sensitive to outliers to be useful, in my opinion.
A worked example: the median income per capita in Boston is $37,288 and there are 685,094 residents. The total income of people in Boston is then 685094*$37288 = $25,545,785,072. According to , Tim Cook's total compensation was $377 million in 2013. If Tim Cook moved to Boston, the mean per capita income would rise from $37,288 to ((25545785072+377000000)/(685094+1)) = $37,838. One person moving can make a 2% difference in mean income by moving to a top 25 city in the US, nevermind any of the smaller cities on that list.
1 = https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/bostoncitymassa...
2 = https://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/top-10-people-wit...
In Denver $1800 will get you a studio in desirable places to live, and will only get you a 2 BR out in deep suburbia or developments that come with 45 minute commutes. You're also going to have widely varying incomes between those two areas... i'd be willing to bet the after rent take home in the fringes of Denver sprawl is much worse than downtown due to ridiculous prices pushing low income workers farther and farther away from the city center while rent decreases at a much slower rate.
Also did they get their salary data from BusinessStudent or from Indeed? And where did they get their real estate data from?
Also one thing I've found as I work through a move from an expensive city (SF) to a less expensive one (Minneapolis) is that the things you're getting for the prices shown here are drastically different. I've found 1500sqft 2br/2ba apartments with two parking spots in the Twin Cities for $2300, while that same thing in SF would easily cost $7000. I paid $4500 for a 2br/1ba that was a little under 1000sqft with a single parking space.
Regardless, I now have a 2k mortgage for multiple acres, waterfront, and no congestion, city noise, smells or lights. It's bliss if you don't mind the occasional snake or bear.
I think these numbers are unduly skewed by the relatively very large build-out of condo buildings that has occurred in Minneapolis in the past 4-5 years.
Prior to 2005 (or so) Minneapolis was a very, very white-flighted downtown area with only a very few condo buildings extant. The notion of living in downtown minneapolis, to most metro area residents, was a weird and wild one.
So now, there is a huge influx of supply but it is all made up of "luxury" units that I believe are going online, in the market, with very optimistic rent numbers. I believe those newly online rental units are skewing the number upwards...
Even in the suburbs, sketchy one bedrooms were 900-1000 last I had looked, though I was limited in options because I had a small dog. I ended up going way out to savage to get one for 700 / month back in 2010
Now they can't build condos there fast enough, and the rent on them is insane.
fwiw, one of the new neighbors came from the East Bay area, and they were boggled at being able to get a beautiful 3br in a great neighborhood for that price.
Yes, Texas's lack of income tax (and Detroit's city income tax) would certainly catapult Dallas ahead of Detroit on this list if taxes were properly factored in.
Detroit is sort of a well-known "sleeper" city that "might be nice to live in someday", but I think word will get out sooner than later that it's got a lot of livability advantages right now. Great arts/food/drink scenes, 4 major sports teams, a surplus of cheap, high quality housing, a first class research university in close proximity, and mild traffic that's about what you'd expect in a city with a AAA baseball team. It has it's flaws, but I'm really not familiar with anywhere else that offers a lot of those amenities without hell traffic or impossibly expensive housing (usually both).
Unless global warming radically reverses, I'd even make the argument that Detroit's weather is becoming a draw - a mild winter is a small price to pay for breezy summers with highs in the low 80's.
You pretty much described most non-coastal, decently-sized metros. Maybe missing a sports team here and there, but if these are your general requirements, you'll find lots of places.
I can't really comment much on the current culture and food scene in Detroit, but I don't recall it being all that great when I was there.
The weather must be significantly different now than when I was there. Michigan was hot and extremely humid in the summers (which makes sense for a state that literally has 11,000 lakes, not to mention the Great Lakes), and the winters bitter cold and snowy for the most part.
The winters are rather cold, with quite a lot of snow and gray skies for months. Winter bleeds so far into spring. I remember years as a kid, where we'd get a foot of snow in Mid April. We lived just outside Metro Detroit, and I grew up there in the 90's/Early 00's...
What a gross and weird sight.
I would call the Houston weather "too hot" for about 6 months of the year, vs parts of July and August for Detroit.
There are affordable rents there, but what you save in rent you pay in car insurance. Michigan has the highest in the nation, and Detroit has the highest in the state. I paid almost $500 per month for mine. The legislature keeps trying to change policy to fix this (as it is ultimately a policy issue), but it usually gets shot down by the GOP who think it goes too far and Democrats who don’t think it goes far enough.
From: pa...@abercrombie.Stanford.EDU (Paul Flaherty)
Subject: Re: Sillycon Valley history
Sender: ne...@leland.Stanford.EDU (Mr News)
Organization: DSO, Stanford University
Date: 11 Mar 93 18:25:19 GMT
dpa...@csulb.edu (Dave Palmer) writes:
>From what I understand, the shine is rubbing off. The cost of housing is
>ludicrous, and companies are fleeing to places like Arizona. But you
>still can't throw a silicon wafer in Cupertino without hitting an Apple
I think it's fair to say that Silicon Valley is dead. Cheap venture capital,
minimal startup cost, access to university researchers, and good inter
business communications fueled an engine which turned ideas into products.
You can now find venture capital elsewhere, with the discount rate being
what it is. The cost of housing and office space has spiraled out of
control, thanks to the environmentalists and Prop 13. The trade secrets
and intellectual property mania have pretty much destroyed open cooperation.
The universities remain, but aren't the driving force they used to be.
The place has a much different, more ossified feel to it than it did seven
-=Paul Flaherty, N9FZX | "My boy, we are pilgrims in an unholy land."
->pa...@Stanford.EDU | -- Dr. Henry Jones Sr.
Well, ok, "average" across all 2BR in the city. That doesn't really tell the full story and will be drawn up by high outliers.
There are a lot of methodology problems here.
Studios downtown are pushing $2000. 2br are pushing $4000. Check Zillow.
I now live 9ish miles outside of the city and pay $2000 less for a 1br rental condo with an actual yard I can garden in, and patio.
For another data point, I have rented a respectable (1985+ wood frame building) 2br for the past two years for $1595/month total in Capitol Hill. You can find many places for cheap during the December-February time period.
My 1br condo by the airport is larger, comes with a large storage room, built in the 60's but remodeled in 2017, yard, patio, and I'm paying only $1000.
You can probably find 1br for $2000 in Cap Hill if you want to live in an older building.
$2499 seems to be about the (craigslist data) median within 10 miles of 98101 
(And as your edit suggests, Seattle is much larger than a 1 mile radius from the center of 98101.)
Though it's not clear here which they used for the calculations.
Statistically, I don't see any good way around this other than doing a really gnarly ANOVA to tease out the prices of individual amenities.
If I were living in Chapel Hill, I could also be reasonably working in Raleigh or Durham.
Makes sense that college towns would be over-represented.
Use the laws supposedly made for poor people, and use them at your advantage (like most of the wealthy do).
Also yell and pretend high and clear that you want to help the poor.
Detroit has a bad reputation because their economy failed. But put 50,000 high paying tech jobs there, that problem would look very different.
I'd bet the difference in those two statistics indicates uneven housing supply (residential areas aren't the same as business areas) and small cities (residential areas are counted differently than business areas).
It's another problem with this type of comparison though. What's a "typical" apartment for a young professional to rent in a relatively low cost suburb or small city is likely going to be very different from what the same young professional would rent in Manhattan--even if they're paid more in the latter.
Do you see skew in some other way?
For friends, I even let it go for $500. Only catch is that a monthly commuter pass to NYC is $350, but you dont need a car. This room is perfect for anyone who wants to work remotely without leaving the comforts of the USA.
It seems the market encourages people to avoid doing anything that would make their community attractive.
Also cities are more likely to build high-density commercial since those companies are generally bigger taxpayers and consume less government resources compared to residential.
Even the custom reports we get are "wrong" if you don't slice the statistics correctly. And a lot of people have no idea what's going on with compensation (salary, bonus and equity) right now, in competitive markets and competitive fields.
Our company is only 700 people and it's been a huge challenge.