People in These States Are Having the Hardest Time Paying Rent

·13 min read
Shutterstock.com
Shutterstock.com

Nearly 5% of Americans remain unemployed, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While that number is the lowest recorded since the onset of the pandemic, it's still significantly higher than it was before COVID-19. Many other Americans are now under-employed, with cuts to their hours or loss of business.

Check Out: What You Should Understand About Economic Inequality and Its Impact on You
Poll: How Do You Plan To Travel Over the Thanksgiving Holiday?

With so many people seeing their income reduced, it's no surprise that many are struggling to pay their rent. But people are struggling in some states worse than in others. To get a better sense of which places have the most vulnerable renters, GOBankingRates conducted a study to determine which locales have the worst combination of high rents and high unemployment. The study included the unemployment rate, the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment and the percentage of people who missed a rent or mortgage payment last month or have no expectation to be able to pay next month, per the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey.

Take a closer look at which places appear to be having the toughest time paying rent, and which states have a better chance at bouncing back from the crisis.

Last updated: Oct. 22, 2021

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

51. Utah

  • December unemployment rate: 3.6%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $944

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 2,281,207

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 56,213

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 4.0%

Check Out: Almost Every State Is In Debt Thanks to COVID -- What Now?

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

50. North Dakota

  • December unemployment rate: 4.1%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $672

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 561,016

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 13,621

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 4.5%

Find Out: These Are the 50 Best Cities for Gen Z To Live Well on a Budget

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

49. Washington

  • December unemployment rate: 7.1%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,144

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 5,890,357

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 175,814

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 4.7%

From Houses to RVs: What To Buy During the Pandemic

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

48. New Hampshire

  • December unemployment rate: 4.0%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $994

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 1,073,014

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 30,765

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 4.7%

Be Aware: 50 Cities With the Most Overpriced Homes

Marc Dufresne / Getty Images
Marc Dufresne / Getty Images

47. Vermont

  • December unemployment rate: 3.1%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: N/A

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 485,485

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 14,789

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 5.0%

See: How Far a $100,000 Salary Goes in America’s 50 Largest Cities

f11photo / Shutterstock.com
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

46. Maine

  • December unemployment rate: 4.9%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $850

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 1,065,620

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 31,266

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 5.0%

Read: When Can You Get the COVID Vaccine?

f11photo / Getty Images/iStockphoto
f11photo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

45. Wisconsin

  • December unemployment rate: 5.5%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $763

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 4,438,719

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 134,528

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 5.1%

Check Out: In Less Than a Decade, You Won’t Be Able To Afford a Home in These Cities

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

44. Massachusetts

  • December unemployment rate: 7.4%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,133

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 5,324,065

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 191,678

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 5.8%

See: A Coronavirus Downturn Will Hurt These 50 Housing Markets the Most

MidwestWilderness / Getty Images/iStockphoto
MidwestWilderness / Getty Images/iStockphoto

43. Nebraska

  • December unemployment rate: 3.0%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $745

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 1,418,191

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 51,548

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 6.3%

Read More: 50 Cities With the Most Underpriced Homes

Kyle Sprague / Shutterstock.com
Kyle Sprague / Shutterstock.com

42. Oregon

  • December unemployment rate: 6.4%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $997

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 3,302,727

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 135,797

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 6.4%

Find Out: 35 Surprising Cities With Low Costs of Living

JamesBrey / Getty Images/iStockphoto
JamesBrey / Getty Images/iStockphoto

41. Hawaii

  • December unemployment rate: 9.3%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,418

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 1,073,229

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 45,709

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 6.7%

See: The Most Affordable Downtowns To Live In Across America

Scott Wilson Photography / Shutterstock.com
Scott Wilson Photography / Shutterstock.com

40. Montana

  • December unemployment rate: 4.4%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $728

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 822,204

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 34,894

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 6.9%

Read: The Best and Worst Cities To Own Investment Property

picmax / Getty Images/iStockphoto
picmax / Getty Images/iStockphoto

39. Idaho

  • December unemployment rate: 4.4%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $691

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 1,343,198

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 58,013

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 6.9%

Check Out: These Are the 50 Best Cities for Renters

WilliamSherman / Getty Images/iStockphoto
WilliamSherman / Getty Images/iStockphoto

38. Virginia

  • December unemployment rate: 4.9%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,171

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 6,472,737

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 280,797

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 7.2%

Keep Reading: Cities in Every State Where Your Paycheck Stretches the Furthest

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

37. Colorado

  • December unemployment rate: 8.4%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,155

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 4,454,718

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 209,615

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 7.2%

See: 30 Places in America That Are Getting Poorer

Meinphoto / Shutterstock.com
Meinphoto / Shutterstock.com

36. Missouri

  • December unemployment rate: 5.8%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $721

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 4,617,880

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 192,722

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 7.3%

Find Out: 50 Cities Where Homeowners Stay Rooted the Longest

Real Window Creative / Shutterstock.com
Real Window Creative / Shutterstock.com

35. New Jersey

  • December unemployment rate: 7.6%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,282

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 6,776,822

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 279,340

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 7.7%

Read: 30 Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees

Kruck20 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Kruck20 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

34. North Carolina

  • December unemployment rate: 6.2%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $868

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 8,017,566

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 355,974

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.2%

Find Out: Most Surprising Cities To Live In If You Want To Make a Lot of Money

espiegle / Getty Images/iStockphoto
espiegle / Getty Images/iStockphoto

33. Michigan

  • December unemployment rate: 7.5%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $761

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 7,644,458

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 326,514

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.2%

Options: Don’t Overlook These Hidden Gem Cities With a High Quality of Life

f11photo / Getty Images/iStockphoto
f11photo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

32. Indiana

  • December unemployment rate: 4.3%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $727

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 5,015,550

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 229,565

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.2%

See: Cheap Cities You’ll Love To Live In

BlazenImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto
BlazenImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

31. Arkansas

  • December unemployment rate: 4.2%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $600

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 2,246,527

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 88,386

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.2%

Find Out: 17 Cities That Are Getting Richer

matejphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
matejphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

30. West Virginia

  • December unemployment rate: 6.3%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $596

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 1,379,576

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 52,691

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.3%

Good To Know: Best (and Worst) US Cities for Work-Life Balance

benkrut / Getty Images/iStockphoto
benkrut / Getty Images/iStockphoto

29. Iowa

  • December unemployment rate: 3.1%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $646

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 2,342,905

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 102,684

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.4%

See: 30 Cities Where You Can Thrive Without a Full-Time Job

wsfurlan / Getty Images/iStockphoto
wsfurlan / Getty Images/iStockphoto

28. Florida

  • December unemployment rate: 6.1%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,098

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 17,085,385

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 786,106

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.4%

See: The Cheapest Neighborhoods in the 50 Biggest US Cities

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

27. South Dakota

  • December unemployment rate: 3.0%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $627

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 642,658

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 30,166

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.5%

Find Out: Rising Sea Levels Are Hurting Home Values in These 40 Cities

luminouslens / Getty Images/iStockphoto
luminouslens / Getty Images/iStockphoto

26. Pennsylvania

  • December unemployment rate: 6.7%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $831

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 9,776,154

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 426,118

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.5%

Beware: Cities Where the Average Salary Isn’t Enough To Get By

culbertson / Getty Images/iStockphoto
culbertson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

25. Minnesota

  • December unemployment rate: 4.4%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $876

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 4,241,624

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 216,529

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.5%

Check Out: 50 Cities Where It’s Cheaper To Buy a Home Than Rent

benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto
benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

24. Arizona

  • December unemployment rate: 7.5%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $965

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 5,597,268

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 288,107

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.5%

Check Out: Owning vs. Renting: What’s Better for Your Wallet?

Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com
Anne Kitzman / Shutterstock.com

23. Kentucky

  • December unemployment rate: 6.0%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $685

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 3,344,102

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 170,325

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.7%

See: 40 Top Cities Where Your Paycheck Goes the Furthest

DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com
DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com

22. Connecticut

  • December unemployment rate: 8.0%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,095

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 2,732,423

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 141,812

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 8.9%

Find Out: The Cost To Retire in America’s Sunniest Cities

rodclementphotography / Getty Images/iStockphoto
rodclementphotography / Getty Images/iStockphoto

21. Georgia

  • December unemployment rate: 5.6%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $969

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 7,955,983

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 412,446

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 9.0%

See the List: How Long $1 Million in Savings Will Last in Every State

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

20. Alabama

  • December unemployment rate: 3.9%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $726

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 3,717,378

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 177,537

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 9.2%

Read: Best Places To Live On a $50,000 Salary in Every State

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19. District of Columbia

  • December unemployment rate: 7.9%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,552

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 542,635

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 36,093

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 9.4%

Find Out: The Average Retirement Age in Every State

Mlenny / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Mlenny / Getty Images/iStockphoto

18. Illinois

  • December unemployment rate: 7.6%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $859

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 9,546,424

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 511,738

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 9.6%

See: The Real Value of $100 in Every State

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

17. Kansas

  • December unemployment rate: 3.8%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $694

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 2,140,957

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 118,723

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 10.0%

Find Out: What You Actually Take Home From a $200,000 Salary in Every State

Shutterstock.com
Shutterstock.com

16. Delaware

  • December unemployment rate: 5.3%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,122

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 754,637

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 43,148

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 10.0%

Good To Know: The Most Expensive Suburbs in Every State

ThomHartwick / Getty Images/iStockphoto
ThomHartwick / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15. Rhode Island

  • December unemployment rate: 8.1%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $924

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 817,559

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 49,851

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 10.4%

Budgeting 101: How To Create a Budget You Can Live With

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

14. Ohio

  • December unemployment rate: 5.5%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $677

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 8,822,539

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 515,662

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 10.6%

Find Out: 50 Ways To Live the Big Life on a Small Budget

James Mattil / Shutterstock.com
James Mattil / Shutterstock.com

13. Nevada

  • December unemployment rate: 9.2%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $988

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 2,399,457

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 160,386

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 10.9%

Be Careful: 17 Biggest Budgeting Mistakes You’re Making

andykazie / Getty Images
andykazie / Getty Images

12. Alaska

  • December unemployment rate: 5.8%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $974

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 524,925

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 36,488

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 10.9%

Helpful: How I’m Sticking to a Budget and Spending Less During COVID-19

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

11. Oklahoma

  • December unemployment rate: 5.3%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $685

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 2,916,436

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 170,910

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 11.1%

The 50/30/20 Rule: Is It the Best Budgeting Method?

traveler1116 / Getty Images
traveler1116 / Getty Images

10. South Carolina

  • December unemployment rate: 4.6%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $852

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 3,969,123

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 233,903

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 11.5%

Tips: 50 Easy Things You Should Do To Save Money

Arpad Benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Arpad Benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

9. Texas

  • December unemployment rate: 7.2%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $930

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 21,356,906

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 1,356,917

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 11.7%

See: 37 Life Hacks That Will Save You Money

pidjoe / Getty Images
pidjoe / Getty Images

8. New York

  • December unemployment rate: 8.2%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,308

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 14,847,080

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 964,774

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 12.0%

Options: Things To Cut Out Right Now To Save Money During the Health Crisis

Swarmcatcher / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Swarmcatcher / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7. Tennessee

  • December unemployment rate: 6.4%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $800

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 5,221,475

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 317,433

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 12.1%

Find Out: 16 Ways To Save Money on Food

Alexphotographic / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Alexphotographic / Getty Images/iStockphoto

6. Maryland

  • December unemployment rate: 6.3%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,245

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 4,586,920

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 353,007

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 12.1%

Tips: 101 Easy Ways To Save Money Daily

RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images
RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images

5. Wyoming

  • December unemployment rate: 4.8%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $676

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 433,400

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 30,632

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 12.2%

Helpful: 20 Insider Tips To Save Money on Every Part of Your Home

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4. California

  • December unemployment rate: 9.0%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,433

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 29,939,021

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 2,232,487

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 12.3%

Look: These States Receive the Most Disaster Aid Every Year

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. New Mexico

  • December unemployment rate: 8.2%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $750

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 1,589,574

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 113,055

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 12.5%

See: 25 Tips for Saving Money With Your Spouse

traveler1116 / iStock.com
traveler1116 / iStock.com

2. Mississippi

  • December unemployment rate: 6.2%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $699

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 2,189,670

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 140,639

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 13.2%

Try: 16 Effective Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Louisiana

  • December unemployment rate: 7.2%

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $754

  • Total population (ages 18 and older): 3,431,432

  • Adults unable to pay for housing: 300,053

Percentage of population unable to pay for housing: 17.9%

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates reviewed the United States Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey to find out where Americans are having the hardest time paying rent. The survey measures the number of adults in each state who are not current on rent or mortgage payments, or who have slight or no confidence that their household can pay next month's rent or mortgage on time as of the period Dec. 9-21, 2020. GOBankingRates ordered all 50 states and the District of Columbia from the state where the highest percentage of the adult population is unable to pay for housing (No. 1) to the state where the lowest percentage is unable to pay for housing (No. 51). They are ranked here in reverse order. GOBankingRates also provided the December 2020 unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the December 2020 estimated rent for a one-bedroom apartment from Apartment List for each state as supplemental information. All data was collected on and up to date as of Jan. 26, 2021.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: People in These States Are Having the Hardest Time Paying Rent

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting