WASHINGTON — Whites are more likely to own their homes, while blacks and Latinos are more likely to rent, federal officials said Monday, and some experts said the finding underscores the disparity in incomes among racial groups.
Figures released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development show that 68% of heads of household who are white own their homes, compared to 43% of blacks and 39% of Latinos.
"The biggest reason is money," said Langston Chick, a black real estate agent in Silver Spring, Md. "A lot of times we are on the edge. We just don't have the basic 5% (down payment) to buy a house."
Homeowners had a median annual income of $34,800, nearly twice that of renters ($18,700) even though they spent about the same amount on housing--$455 a month for owners and $462 a month for renters.
Timothy Grall, author of the report, cited large differences in the amounts of money earned by various racial and ethnic groups.
According to census figures, the median income of black households was $18,807 in 1991, compared to $31,569 for white households. The median income for Latinos, who can be of any race, was $22,691.
There were 59.8 million home-owning households in the United States in 1991.
Among the nation's 33.4 million renters, 76% were white, 19% were black and 5% were of other groups. But 57% of black households and 61% of Latino households were renters, compared to 18% of white households.
The median age of homeowners was 50 years, compared to the renters' median age of 36 years. The report said 79% of married couples owned their homes, and 81% of family households without any children were headed by homeowners.