The Inverse Relationship Between Homeownership and Economic Development

In the United States, homeownership has long been touted as a sign of personal success and national prosperity. But a comparison of homeownership levels to economic health across 41 countries shows an inverse correlation.
September 17, 2013, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Using data from Pew and the World Bank, Richard Florida and Charoltta Mellander have reached some surprising findings regarding homeownership and economic development.  

Their research indicates that "[l]ess developed countries have consistently higher levels of homeownership, while more advanced nations combine higher levels of economic development with substantially lower levels of homeownership." For example, Switzerland, "which has the lowest rate of homeownership among the countries Pew studied, is one of the the world's richest and most advanced countries..." While less-developed Eastern European nations like Slovakia and Lithuania have some of the highest homeownership levels. 

"American political rhetoric tends to equate rising homeownership rates with strong economic development," adds Florida. "Instead, the opposite is true. The rate of homeownership declines as nations get wealthier."

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Published on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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