Single women own and occupy more homes than single men in the United States, despite earning only about 83 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to a new study.
The report, by the online lending marketplace LendingTree, analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2021 American Community Survey with one-year estimates. It found that 10.76 million U.S. homes were owned and occupied by single women, while 8.12 million were owned and occupied by single men. Single men were found to own and occupy a larger percentage of homes in only two states: North Dakota (about 13 percent, to 11 percent for single women) and South Dakota (12 percent to 11 percent).
How could this be, considering the wage gap? The study suggests several possible explanations. First, not all women are lower earners. This is especially true of women under 30, whose earnings meet or exceed that of their male counterparts in 22 U.S. metros, and meet or exceed at least 90 percent of men’s earnings in another 107, according to the report. A National Association of Realtors report posited that single women spend less for homes than men do, and are willing to make more financial sacrifices to make it happen.
Women also have a longer life expectancy than men, so some portion of single women who own and occupy their homes are widows who previously lived with a spouse. This could help explain why retirement-friendly Florida had the largest gap in homeownership rates among single women and single men — about 4.5 percent in favor of the women, according to LendingTree.
This week’s chart shows the states with the largest percentage point gaps between homes owned by single women and single men.
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