Homeownership, like owning a car, is often viewed as a key feature of American life. Here is some comparative data on homeownership across countries:
- The United States is nowhere near the top of this list. It is #42.
- There are a number of less wealthy countries that have significant higher rates of homeownership than the United States.
- And this is even with a federal government that subsidizes homeownership and a strong cultural ideology (examples here and here) promoting homeownership in the United States.
- This is a reminder that fewer than two-thirds of Americans own their dwelling. Even if it may be a goal of many Americans, not everyone has the resources or opportunities to reach that goal. And the differences in access to homeownership across groups can be stark.
- Comparing rates of homeownership may not tell the whole story of what kinds of homes are owned or the size of these homes. Famously, the United States has the largest new homes in the world. So perhaps Americans do not just want to own a home; they want a certain kind of home – a sizable single-family home in the suburbs – that meets their standards.