What does this measure?
The ratio of the median home value divided by the median household income, adjusted for inflation, and shown for homeowners in various racial and ethnic groups.
Why is this important?
This ratio provides a rough estimate of the affordability of homes in a community. A ratio less than 2 or 3 is considered affordable. High housing costs can force households to choose between paying for housing and meeting other basic needs such as food, clothing and health care.
How does our county compare?
In 2014-18, homes in Lancaster County were somewhat unaffordable, with the ratio for Asians and whites at 2.9, African Americans at 3.2 and Hispanics at 3.6. Housing for African Americans, Hispanics and Whites was less affordable in Lancaster County than in Pennsylvania, on average. Dauphin and Lebanon Counties were generally more affordable than Lancaster, while Chester was less affordable, and York was mixed, in comparison.
Why do these disparities exist?
Historic and current policies and systems, from racist housing policies to employment discrimination to education systems that fail to equitably serve all populations, have prevented people of color from fully participating in our economy, locking them out of economic opportunity. This has resulted in lower incomes for people of color, which means housing costs are a greater burden.
Notes about the data
Multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.
The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic).
|Asian||Black or African American||Hispanic||White|
Notes: Ratio of median home value divided by the median household income, adjusted for inflation. A ratio less than 2 or 3 is considered affordable. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity.
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