The Neighborhood With the Highest Rent in Every State

Median rents have hit record highs across the country, thanks to inflation and pandemic-related shortages of housing and building supplies. In many parts of the country, people who choose to rent may find it difficult to meet conventional wisdom’s rule that monthly rent should not exceed 30% of one’s monthly income. While rent prices are much more affordable in some parts of the country, in every state there is at least one ZIP code where rents are especially high. 

To find the ZIP code with the highest rent in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of median gross rent of ZIP codes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. It is important to note that the figures reflected here are for 2020, the most recent data available through the census. While prices today are much higher across much of the country, the most expensive rental market in each state in 2020 is likely still one of the most expensive markets in 2022. The national 2020 median rent was $1,096. In all 50 states, there is at least one ZIP code with a higher 2020 median gross rent.  

Housing costs reflect the income levels of the population living there. Housing costs tend to be more expensive in wealthier communities. Of the 50 ZIP codes on this list, 47 have higher typical household incomes compared to their home state. The U.S. median household income is $64,996. In 36 of the 50 ZIP codes on this list, the typical household income is greater than $100,000. This includes Connecticut’s ZIP 06820, which encompasses the wealthy town of Darien, where median rent is over $3,000 per month and the typical annual household income comes to nearly a quarter of a million dollars. This is the richest town in every state.

Nationwide, 2020 median gross rent comes to 29.6% of household income. As a result of the higher incomes in the cities on this list, in 29 of the ZIP codes rent is actually relatively affordable. In ZIP 25405, on the outskirts of Martinsburg, West Virginia, median gross rent comes to just 18.8% of household income. Rents have risen considerably during the pandemic, so the affordability of many of these metro areas has likely decreased in the past two years. These are the U.S. cities where the most families need food stamps. 

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