States Where Tenants are Most Behind on Rent Payments

Tenants are behind on rent payments in a number of states with about 15 percent of renters, or about six million total, according to a report from

“Our team of analysts at found that about 15 percent of Americans are not currently caught up on rent. Estimates from the most recent federal data available show this equates to around six million American households.

“Nationally, the cost to rent an apartment rose 17.6 percent in 2021, according to The ever-increasing cost of rent is causing financial hardship for a relatively large percentage of the population in each state,” the report says.

Key findings in the report:

  • Renters in South Dakota, Alabama, and New Jersey have the most trouble making their monthly payments.
  • Renters in Miami, Houston, and Philadelphia are furthest behind on their rent.
  • Data shows 15 percent, or around six million American households, are behind on their rent payments this fall. This has remained consistent over the last 3 years (2020, 2021, 2022).
  • Americans aged 40 to 54 had the most difficulty keeping up with rent.

Top 10 states where renters are the most behind on payments

The percentages vary from state to state: In South Dakota, 22 percent of renters are behind on rent, while in Idaho, only 3 percent are behind on their rent. Additionally, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota had the largest increase of tenants unable to keep up on rent in 2022 compared to 2021.

  1. South Dakota
  2. Alabama
  3. New Jersey
  4. South Carolina
  5. Connecticut
  6. Delaware
  7. Arkansas
  8. Kentucky
  9. Louisiana
  10. New York


“A troubling aspect of these findings is that rent costs keep increasing. While the percentage of Americans unable to keep up on rent has remained consistent over the last three years, it has remained consistently high at 15 percent. The question remains: Will Americans be able to keep up on their rent payments as costs continue to rise?” the report says.

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