The NAHB's Na Zhao analyzed data from the latest 2014 American Community Survey (ACS) between 2008 (the start of the Great Recession) and 2014, and found the cities where rentership was highest.

The biggest percentage of households renting homes in the Northeast, which included cities such as New York City and Boston. Bronx County, N.Y., had the highest rentership rate in the country with 82%. Two other New York counties, New York County (Manhattan) and Kings County (Brooklyn), followed with rates of 77% and 72% respectively. 

But areas that had higher homeownership rates before the recession saw the greatest increase in the share of rentals:

County level tenure data for 2008 and 2014 from the ACS and NAHB analysis indicates that counties with the largest increases in annual rentership rates were Scott County, MN (54%), Calvert County, MD (51%), Greene County, TN (48%), Island County, WA (45%), Terrebonne Parish, LA (43%), McHenry County, IL (41%), Dorchester County, SC (40%), Marquette County, MI (39%), Escambia County, FL (39%), and Rockdale County, GA (39%) .

Renting became more prevalent in areas where the rentership rates were lower before the Great Recession. As a result, South Atlantic, Mountain, East North Central, East South Central, West North Central and East North Central had relatively larger increases in rentership rates, ranging from 10% to 14% increase.

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