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Black renters far more likely to face eviction in the U.S., Indiana

A flag flying in the wind that reads "Now Leasing."
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Less than one-fifth of renters in the United States are Black. But more than half of eviction filings are against Black renters.

New research from the Eviction Lab at Princeton University provides a clearer picture of the demographics of who gets evicted in the U.S.

The study linked names and addresses on eviction court records to census data. Lead researcher Nick Graetz said the trends that appeared weren't exactly shocking.

“Really seems like it’s largely Black families who are being filed against for eviction,” Graetz said. “So, I think the broad patterns were what we expected them to be, but I think just the sheer magnitude and the scale that we’re talking about was surprising to me.”

Less than one-fifth of renters in the United States are Black. But more than half of eviction filings are against Black renters.

In Indiana, it’s a similar story. Indiana has one of the highest eviction rates in the country. And while an average of 8 percent of renters per year in the state have eviction filings against them, that number is 23 percent for Black renters.

Graetz said he hopes the data shines a brighter light on fair housing issues when it comes to renters, instead of just homeowners.

“So, I think a big draw from this paper is that we should focus more on who’s really being affected here and what’s happening to folks,” Graetz said.

READ MORE: What should I know before signing a housing lease in Indiana?

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The study also highlighted that children are incredibly at risk for eviction. People under age 20 are most at risk for eviction in the U.S., and children under 18 make up about 40 percent of renters who face eviction each year.

In Indiana, there’s an average of 1.22 children per household that’s evicted each year. That’s the 14th highest rate in the country.

While the data in the study is from before the pandemic, Graetz said initial looks at pandemic-era data shows that the patterns in evictions are largely unchanged.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.