Counties in Iowa where people spend most of their paycheck on housing

Written by:
October 3, 2021
Billwhittaker // Wikimedia Commons

Counties in Iowa where people spend most of their paycheck on housing

It’s no secret that many Americans are forgoing homeownership in favor of renting. In 2020, renters in the U.S. occupied 43 million housing units.

The Stacker team looked at data from a United States Census survey that revealed an estimated 43,378,800 renter-occupied homes in the United States as of 2017, which makes up 36.1% of all households in the country. In 2019, renting was more affordable than buying a median-priced home in 59% of the counties; in 2021, the opposite was true: Owning was more affordable than renting in 63% of U.S. counties.

Stacker compiled a list of counties in Iowa where people spend the highest percent of income on rent using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Of course, saving money by owning a home is unattainable for many Americans who don’t have savings that could cover a down payment, those who are denied a mortgage, or both. Keep reading to see where in your home state most of people’s take-home pay goes to their monthly rent.

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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Winneshiek County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.2%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.3%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 23.9%
- Total occupied households: 8,257
- Median household income: $65,263
- Median monthly housing cost: $829

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C. A. Tucker // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Adair County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.2%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 58.1%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 17.7%
- Total occupied households: 3,200
- Median household income: $53,363
- Median monthly housing cost: $678

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Scott Romine // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Wayne County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.3%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.1%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 20.8%
- Total occupied households: 2,689
- Median household income: $44,768
- Median monthly housing cost: $572

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Chuckmor // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Winnebago County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.4%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 60.4%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 21.0%
- Total occupied households: 4,577
- Median household income: $49,870
- Median monthly housing cost: $638

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Jatakuck // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Howard County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.4%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 60.1%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 15.9%
- Total occupied households: 3,810
- Median household income: $55,060
- Median monthly housing cost: $705

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Scott A. Miller // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Buena Vista County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.4%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 56.7%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 18.7%
- Total occupied households: 7,524
- Median household income: $57,125
- Median monthly housing cost: $734

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Jsayre64 // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Clayton County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.6%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.6%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 22.3%
- Total occupied households: 7,510
- Median household income: $53,152
- Median monthly housing cost: $691

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JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Monona County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.6%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 56.9%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 20.9%
- Total occupied households: 4,000
- Median household income: $47,605
- Median monthly housing cost: $620

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Floyd County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.7%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.9%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 21.6%
- Total occupied households: 6,903
- Median household income: $50,406
- Median monthly housing cost: $658

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Woodard // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Fayette County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.8%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.7%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 23.1%
- Total occupied households: 8,200
- Median household income: $51,128
- Median monthly housing cost: $672

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Bill Whittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Tama County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.8%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 53.2%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 18.8%
- Total occupied households: 6,767
- Median household income: $56,037
- Median monthly housing cost: $737

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Cass County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 15.9%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.2%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 22.3%
- Total occupied households: 5,921
- Median household income: $50,187
- Median monthly housing cost: $664

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Marion County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.0%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 58.3%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 18.7%
- Total occupied households: 13,365
- Median household income: $61,038
- Median monthly housing cost: $812

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Gvetterick // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Union County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.0%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 53.1%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 21.4%
- Total occupied households: 5,176
- Median household income: $49,900
- Median monthly housing cost: $665

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Farragutful // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Washington County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.2%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 53.9%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 20.4%
- Total occupied households: 8,832
- Median household income: $62,556
- Median monthly housing cost: $842

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Kevin Schuchmann // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Jones County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.2%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 58.2%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 21.5%
- Total occupied households: 8,130
- Median household income: $57,549
- Median monthly housing cost: $777

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Phinn // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Emmet County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.2%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 56.7%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 19.0%
- Total occupied households: 4,036
- Median household income: $51,563
- Median monthly housing cost: $698

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Jared Winkler // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Mills County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.2%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 56.9%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 22.0%
- Total occupied households: 5,554
- Median household income: $72,079
- Median monthly housing cost: $976

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Tony Webster // Wikicommons

#32. Woodbury County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.3%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 57.0%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 21.7%
- Total occupied households: 39,016
- Median household income: $59,224
- Median monthly housing cost: $802

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Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Boone County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.3%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.6%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 19.2%
- Total occupied households: 10,954
- Median household income: $64,000
- Median monthly housing cost: $870

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Daniel Hartwig // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Marshall County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.4%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 57.6%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 20.8%
- Total occupied households: 15,419
- Median household income: $56,437
- Median monthly housing cost: $771

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Keokuk County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.5%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.4%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 22.6%
- Total occupied households: 4,394
- Median household income: $52,881
- Median monthly housing cost: $725

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Dan Breyfogle // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Cerro Gordo County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.5%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.3%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 21.8%
- Total occupied households: 19,241
- Median household income: $53,963
- Median monthly housing cost: $741

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Jasper County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.5%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 57.4%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 20.9%
- Total occupied households: 14,574
- Median household income: $58,952
- Median monthly housing cost: $812

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cwwycoff1 // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Iowa County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.6%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 57.2%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 19.2%
- Total occupied households: 6,780
- Median household income: $61,443
- Median monthly housing cost: $852

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Bill Whittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Webster County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.7%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 52.5%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 24.0%
- Total occupied households: 15,306
- Median household income: $47,466
- Median monthly housing cost: $659

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Robert Thall // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Lee County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.7%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 56.0%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 23.4%
- Total occupied households: 14,233
- Median household income: $49,564
- Median monthly housing cost: $689

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Billwhittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Henry County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.7%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.1%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 19.6%
- Total occupied households: 7,743
- Median household income: $53,501
- Median monthly housing cost: $745

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FluffyGryphon // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Dubuque County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.9%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 54.7%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 23.3%
- Total occupied households: 38,210
- Median household income: $63,031
- Median monthly housing cost: $888

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Decatur County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 16.9%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 53.3%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 27.3%
- Total occupied households: 3,200
- Median household income: $44,462
- Median monthly housing cost: $628

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Lynn Betts // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Warren County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 17.1%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.7%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 22.5%
- Total occupied households: 19,258
- Median household income: $77,048
- Median monthly housing cost: $1,098

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Stephen Matthew Milligan // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Dallas County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 17.1%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.3%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 19.3%
- Total occupied households: 34,399
- Median household income: $88,479
- Median monthly housing cost: $1,261

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Jason McLaren // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Clarke County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 17.2%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 54.3%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 23.7%
- Total occupied households: 3,895
- Median household income: $54,427
- Median monthly housing cost: $780

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TheCatalyst31 // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Dickinson County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 17.4%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 56.6%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 23.0%
- Total occupied households: 8,174
- Median household income: $59,969
- Median monthly housing cost: $868

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Poweshiek County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 17.5%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 51.5%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 23.6%
- Total occupied households: 7,767
- Median household income: $53,852
- Median monthly housing cost: $785

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Linn County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 17.5%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 53.0%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 22.1%
- Total occupied households: 90,877
- Median household income: $64,903
- Median monthly housing cost: $949

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Thug outlaw69 // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Muscatine County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 17.7%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 55.0%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 23.5%
- Total occupied households: 16,660
- Median household income: $58,453
- Median monthly housing cost: $864

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Jefferson County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 17.8%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 47.3%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 26.3%
- Total occupied households: 6,754
- Median household income: $47,708
- Median monthly housing cost: $706

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formulanone // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Scott County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 17.9%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 51.3%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 25.9%
- Total occupied households: 67,021
- Median household income: $61,183
- Median monthly housing cost: $915

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Scott Romine // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Clay County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 18.0%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 52.8%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 21.4%
- Total occupied households: 7,212
- Median household income: $50,521
- Median monthly housing cost: $759

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Skinzfan23 // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Pottawattamie County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 18.2%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 51.5%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 24.0%
- Total occupied households: 36,799
- Median household income: $60,065
- Median monthly housing cost: $909

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Richc80 // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Clinton County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 18.3%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 50.4%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 25.9%
- Total occupied households: 19,635
- Median household income: $51,688
- Median monthly housing cost: $788

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Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Des Moines County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 18.4%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 51.8%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 24.8%
- Total occupied households: 16,891
- Median household income: $51,267
- Median monthly housing cost: $786

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Madison County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 18.4%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 52.0%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 21.6%
- Total occupied households: 6,462
- Median household income: $66,316
- Median monthly housing cost: $1,018

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Appanoose County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 18.7%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 49.4%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 24.7%
- Total occupied households: 5,353
- Median household income: $40,167
- Median monthly housing cost: $626

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David Wilson // Wikimedia

#5. Black Hawk County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 18.8%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 50.7%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 26.0%
- Total occupied households: 52,905
- Median household income: $53,539
- Median monthly housing cost: $839

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Wapello County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 18.9%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 51.7%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 25.8%
- Total occupied households: 14,481
- Median household income: $46,246
- Median monthly housing cost: $727

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Katie Haugland Bowen // Flickr

#3. Polk County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 18.9%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 49.6%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 25.9%
- Total occupied households: 187,798
- Median household income: $67,637
- Median monthly housing cost: $1,065

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Carl Wycoff // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Story County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 20.4%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 45.9%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 32.0%
- Total occupied households: 37,811
- Median household income: $56,756
- Median monthly housing cost: $963

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Billwhittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Johnson County

- Median percent of income spent on housing: 21.0%
--- Percent of households spending <20% of income on housing: 45.5%
--- Percent of households spending >30% of income on housing: 31.4%
- Total occupied households: 59,134
- Median household income: $62,542
- Median monthly housing cost: $1,093

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