Photo: Robert Clark

More US Baby Boomers are turning to renting than ever before.

In fact, a staggering 2.5 million Boomers joined the rental market between 2009 and 2016, the largest influx recorded among all generational groups, according to a report released earlier this week by the listing site RentCafe.

To determine how the rental market has evolved over recent years, RentCafe analyzed Census data from 2009 through 2016 from 20 of the largest US cities. “This was around the time when the scales started to tilt in favor of renting,” says RentCafe in the report.

It studied changes in the number of rental households by age, as well as education level and family type.

RentCafe determined that the number of Baby Boomer renters increased a whopping 28 percent over that seven year period, while it only grew 3 percent among renters 34 years old and younger. Meantime, renters in the 35 to 55 age bracket grew by 14 percent over the same period.

On the national level, the number of Baby Boomer renters increased by almost 40 percent in the suburbs, compared to only 21 percent in cities. The Baby Boomer renter population grew by 63 percent in Riverside, CA during that period — the largest growth recorded in the study. And in New York City, Baby Boomer renters grew by only 14 percent, the lowest in the study.

The number of renters holding a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by 23 percent — the highest increase seen education-wise. Higher-educated renters grew by 26 percent in suburbia, and only about 20 percent in cities.

Renters with no minor children increased by 21 percent during the seven period in the study. Meanwhile, the number of renters with no children increased 33 percent in the ‘burbs.

According to RentCafe, these stats point to “empty-nest” Baby Boomers, who are “whether driven by a change in lifestyle, a consequence of the housing crash, or an inability to find affordable homes to downsize, now embracing renting in droves.”

With their kids grown up and moved out, Baby Boomers are ready to accept the benefits of adapting to the renting lifestyle.

“Owning a home and raising a family in a suburban community truly defined this age group, but now it finds itself in a big empty house, with too much space to keep up and high property taxes to pay,” says RentCafe in the report.

Click here to read the entire report.

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