20 Key Eviction Statistics

With the federal moratorium on coronavirus-related evictions potentially coming to an end on December 31, 2020, eviction has become a greater concern for many. However, evictions weren’t uncommon in the pre-pandemic landscape.

The world of evictions is complex, and can have a serious impact on the lives of those affected. If you’d like to learn more, here are 20 insightful eviction statistics to review.

1. 3.6 Million Eviction Cases Are Filed Annually in the United States

In the United States, 3.6 million eviction cases are filed with the court each year on average. That translates to seven eviction filings every minute, or nine filings per every 100 rental households in the country.

However, not all filings result in actual evictions. The filings simply mark attempts by landlords to remove a tenant from the property using a judgment through the court system.

[Source: United Nations]

2. There Are 4,100 Eviction Judgments Every Day in the United States

While there are approximately 3.6 million eviction filings annually, less than half of those lead to an eviction judgment. Eviction judgments are rendered, on average, in 1.5 million of those cases instead. That averages out to 4,100 eviction judgments every day, giving landlords the legal authority to evict those households.

Technically, actual annual eviction rates could be higher. Not all tenant removals, legal or otherwise, end up in the court system, creating a potential discrepancy.

[Source: United Nations]

3. 14% of Children Born in Large Cities Experience an Eviction by Age 15

Of children born in large cities in the United States, nearly 3-in-20 will be part of a household that is evicted from a property before they are old enough to drive. Overall, 14% of those children will face an eviction experience between birth and age 15.

[Source: United Nations]

4. As Many as 19 Million People at Risk of Eviction if COVID-19 Moratorium Ends

The federal COVID-19 eviction moratorium, set by the Centers for Disease Control, is scheduled to end on December 31, 2020. Unless it is extended, up to 19 million people (representing about 6.7 million households) could be at risk of eviction. These numbers reflect households who have significant doubts regarding their ability to pay rent when the moratorium expires.

[Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition]

5. North Charleston, South Carolina Has the Highest Eviction Rate at 16.5%

Of larger cities, North Charleston, South Carolina, has the highest eviction rate in the nation. On average, 10.03 households are evicted daily, leading to an annual total of 3,660 evictions. That translates to 16.5 households per 100 renter households, creating an eviction rate of 16.5%.

North Charleston leads the pack by a significant margin, as well. Richmond, Virginia, which ranked in second place, came in with a rate of 11.44%, which is more than five percentage points lower than North Charleston.

[Source: Princeton University Eviction Lab]

6. In North Carolina, 32% of Eviction Judgments Involve Less Than $600 in Rental Debt

Generally, landlords file for evictions for back rent after one to two months. However, that doesn’t mean the debts are large.

In North Carolina, 32% of eviction judgments were for less than $600. In Virginia, 22% fell under that threshold, while 20% of Delaware judgments do.

[Source: New York Times]

7. 10% of Renters Have Access to Legal Counsel During Eviction Proceedings

While 90% of landlords have access to legal counsel during eviction proceedings, only 10 percent of tenants do. Access to legal counsel can significantly impact the outcome. Even if the case has merit, represented tenants are less likely to be evicted.

[Source: University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty]

8. Evicted Tenants Are Nearly 25% More Likely to Experience Long-Term Housing Problems

Involuntary moves – such as an eviction – can result in long-term housing instability and homelessness. Overall, tenants who had to relocate involuntarily are 25% more likely to experience housing problems long-term than renters who aren’t involuntarily moved.

[Source: University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty]

9. Workers Who Experience an Eviction Are 20% More Likely to Lose Their Job

While a job loss can lead to an eviction, an eviction can also lead to job loss. Overall, workers who were evicted are 20% more likely to experience a subsequent job loss in comparison to similar workers do did not face an involuntary move.

[Source: University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty]

10. Mothers Who Are Evicted Are 20% More Likely to Experience Depression

Eviction has an impact on mental health. When looking at new parents, mothers who experience an eviction after childbirth are 20% more likely to report depression than mothers who have not had an involuntary move. They remain significantly more likely to experience depression in comparison to their peers who didn’t have an eviction for two years after the involuntary move.

[Source: University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty]

11. Low-Income Black Women Are at the Highest Risk, Representing 30% of Evictions

In Milwaukee, black women represent only 9.6% of the total population in the city. However, they make up 30% of evictions. Among renters, one-in-five black women report experiencing an eviction during their adult life, while only 1-in-12 Hispanic women and 1-in-15 white women report the same.

[Source: University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty]

12. Black Households Are More Than Twice as Likely to be Evicted Than White Households

Overall, black households are at greater risk of eviction than white households. Overall, black households are more than twice as likely to be evicted.

[Source: Discrimination in Evictions: Empirical Evidence and Legal Challenges]

13. Post-Moratorium Evictions Could Cost Taxpayers $199 Billion to $315+ Billion in Related Costs

After the COVID-19 eviction moratorium expires and evictions are able to commence, local communities can incur a variety of costs. Shelter, medical care, child welfare, and juvenile delinquency lead to various expenses, potentially costing federal, state, and local governments and, ultimately, taxpayers upwards of $199 billion in related costs.

[Source: University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law]

14. Evictions Increase Odds of Applying for Homeless Shelters by 14 Percentage Points

Evictions may increase a household’s odds of needing to use a homeless shelter. Overall, after an eviction, the chances that a household will apply to stay at a homeless shelter goes up by 14 percentage points.

[Source: The Effect of Evictions on Low-Income Households]

15. A Quarter of Low-Income Households Spend 70 Percent of Their Income on Rent

Low-income households generally have to dedicate more of their monthly budget to rent. Among those households, more than 50% spend at least half of their income on rent, while about 25% actually spend 70% or more of their income paying rent.

[Source: Who Gets Evicted? Assessing Individual, Neighborhood, and Network Factors]

16. Eviction Can Increase Suicide Risk 4-Fold

Individuals who have an eviction judgment against them are four times more likely to commit suicide than average. Many of the suicides occur after the tenant formally loses their legal right to stay in the rental (such as after a court decision) but before the order is officially carried out.

[Source: Reuters]

17. And Homelessness Can Increase Suicide Risk 10-Fold

While not all evicted persons end up homeless, it can happen. Suicide rates among homeless individuals are ten times higher than found in the general population.

[Source: National Health Care for the Homeless Council]

18. For Those Behind on Rent, Food Insecurity Rates Are Quadrupled

Even before an eviction occurs, the financial situation in play can result in a range of hardships. Of those who are behind on their rent, food security rates quadruple.

[Source: Pediatrics]

19. Unstable Housing Increases Child Hospitalizations and Increases Developmental Delays

Children in households experiencing housing instability are more likely to experience hospitalizations and developmental delays. This includes children who have experienced an eviction, household rent challenges, multiple moves, or homelessness.

[Source: Pediatrics]

20. Nearly 10 Percent of Apartment Households Failed to Pay Rent During November 2020

Among properties tracked by the National Multifamily Housing Council, 9.7% of renters didn’t make a full or partial November rent payment by the 20th of the month. That’s a slight increase in missed payments since October, where the missed payment rate came in at 9.4%.

[Source: National Multifamily Housing Council]

Bottom Line

Ultimately, evictions are always part of the landscape. But the effects of these actions can be harmful, and certain eviction trends could point to larger systemic issues, particularly some that impact to low-income and minority households.

With the COVID-19 eviction moratorium potentially coming to an end, a wave of evictions is possible. Without an extension, millions of households may be at risk. However, until that comes to pass, the full impact of such an event will remain unclear.