Historical Median Gross Rent USA

The median gross rent includes rent plus the estimated cost of utilities if they are paid by the tenant. The numbers are taken from the US Census and are nominal numbers. Gross rent for 2020 is not available yet but looking at the median rent across the country we’ll probably see an increase.

The largest increase of 125% in gross rent is from 1970 to 1980. That decade was characterized by the highest inflation, weak economic growth, and high unemployment. Triggered initially by the easy-money policy by the US Central bank, made worse later by the efforts to curb the inflation which had reached 14% by 1980. It’s interesting to note that gross rents and housing prices continued to increase through all the recessions.

YearGross RentPercentage Increase Every Decade
1940$ 27
1950$ 4256%
1960$ 7169%
1970$ 10852%
1980$ 243125%
1990$ 44784%
2000$ 60235%
Source: US Census

About the author

Jana Christo is a business owner, real estate investor, and property manager. She has 16 years of experience in most areas of real estate.
During the last recession, she was also the managing partner for a company that bought and rehabbed properties from the court foreclosure auctions. Today, she manages her own portfolio of rental properties and shares her experience on Rentce.com.