Mark Byrnes is a former senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
More results from our State of the City poll.
Turns out Americans view their communities quite differently depending on whether they own or rent their homes. Looking closer at the results of the Atlantic Media/Siemens State of City poll, some key differences emerge between those who pay a mortgage and those who pay rent.
Across the nation, homeowners are more likely to be white, rich, and Republican than renters:
More than half of homeowners polled said they feel very safe walking in their neighborhoods at night, compared to just 30 percent of renters. Homeowners also feel a lot more financially secure. Nearly half described their household financial situation as comfortable, as opposed to just 17 percent of renters who feel the same.
Perhaps less financial comfort translates to an added urgency to get to work on time. When asked if new bike lanes, transit upgrades, road improvement and adding or repairing sidewalks would have a major impact on local traffic, renters said yes to each one far more than homeowners did. By double digit margins.
Those comfortable, safe, secure, homeowners on the other hand, are rather happy with the way things are. When asked if they would rate their neighborhood as an excellent place to live, 46 percent of respondents said yes. Only 27 percent of renters feel the same way about their surroundings.
The Atlantic Media/Siemens State of the City Poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, surveyed 1,656 U.S. adults by telephone between July 23 and August 4. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. For more details on the poll's methodology, go here.