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If you’re paying rent be it a home, apartment, or condo, you already know it’s sky high, and making ends meet is tough. From utility bills, groceries, and other incidentals, it’s a wonder you have anything left over.

You’re not dreaming.

New research has found the states that are spending the most on rent, with Hawaii coming out on top and CA ranking second when it comes to residents spending most of their income on rent.

The study by moving experts at Forbes Home analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development to see in which states residents were spending the biggest percentage of income on rent.

They found that Hawaii residents are spending the most out of their income on rent. The latest statistics show that the average yearly income in the state is $60,947, and the average monthly income is $5,079. With the average monthly rent for all size homes being $2,136, Hawaiians are spending 42.06% of their income on rent, the highest of any state.

California takes second place on the list, with an average of 28.47% of income going toward rent. This is based on an average annual income of $76,614, which equates to an average monthly payment sitting of $6,385, compared to the average monthly rent being $1,818 for all rentable homes.

New Jersey is taking third place on the list, where the state’s residents spend roughly 27.50% of their income on rent on average. According to research, the state’s average monthly income is $6,385 – $77,016 per year – with $1,765 of this going toward rent every month.

Coming in fourth place on the list is the state of Massachusetts. The study found that it has the highest average income in the top ten, with $6,971 per month and $83,653 per year, respectively. With the average monthly rent sitting at $1,823 in the state, 26.15% of income goes towards rent, the fourth highest in the top 10.

# State 2021 Average Yearly Income 2021 Average Monthly Income Average monthly rent (all sizes) Percentage of rent spent on income
1 Hawaii $60,947 $5,079 $2,136 42.06%
2 California $76,614 $6,385 $1,818 28.47%
3 New Jersey $77,016 $6,418 $1,765 27.50%
4 Massachusetts $83,653 $6,971 $1,823 26.15%
5 Delaware $59,931 $4,994 $1,288 25.79%
6 Alaska $65,813 $5,484 $1,403 25.58%
7 Maryland $69,817 $5,818 $1,478 25.39%
8 Rhode Island $64,376 $5,365 $1,359 25.33%
9 Oregon $61,596 $5,133 $1,284 25.01%
10 Arizona $55,487 $4,624 $1,143 24.72%

Rounding out the top five is the state of Delaware, with 25.79% of income going toward rent. This is due to the state having an average yearly income of $59,931, which works out to a monthly income of $4,994 and an average monthly rent of $1,288.

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for Forbes Advisor said: “Many of the states that made this list also made our list for top states people were moving to in 2021 and 2022, so it’s no surprise that we are seeing an average rent increase in these areas that have gotten an influx of new residents.”

The study was conducted by Forbes Home and is backed by research, deep expertise, and strict methodologies, it states.


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Ellen Bullock