According to the 2010 Census, there are just over 30 million housing units in rural and small town communities, making up 23 percent of nation’s housing stock. Of these, approximately 25 million, or 82 percent, of rural homes are occupied. Housing vacancy rates in rural and small town areas are approximately 7 percentage points higher than the national level. Much of the higher vacancy rate in rural areas is due to the number of homes unoccupied for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use. In fact, nearly 60 percent of all vacant seasonal, or recreational homes nationwide are located in rural and small town areas. Additionally, the number of housing units in rural and small town communities increased by nearly 3 million (11 percent) between 2000 and 2010.
For more information on this issue, check out HAC’s newest Rural Research Note: Housing Occupancy and Vacancy in Rural America (PDF)