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Median Rent

General information

Median rent is the rent a household pays each month, along with utilities. Median rent refers to a given household’s rent where half of the households in the same area pay less and half pay more.1  Paying unaffordable housing costs diverts wages away from other important needs, such as health care and healthy food, making it more difficult to practice healthy living.2

Key Findings

  • The median rent for most neighborhoods in San Mateo County exceeds $1,000 ($1,664), with 59% of households paying $1,500 or more in rent.
  • Between December 2010 and December 2015, rents have increased by 69% for 2-bedroom rentals and 67% for 1-bedroom rentals.
  • 21% of census tracts with low-income households in San Mateo County are at risk of displacement, while 4% are currently undergoing displacement.


  • Data were obtained from U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates at American FactFinder.
  • Data were mapped using ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS Online.
  • Data included all renter-occupied housing units.


  • Approximately 295,000 households are selected to participate in the annual American Community Survey, or less than 1 percent of all households in the U.S.
  • Data were estimates based on survey responses, and not actual counts. 
  • Estimates have some chance of error.


  1. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey and Puerto Rico Community Survey 2013 Subject Definitions
  2. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Where We Live Matter for Our Health: The Links Between Housing and Health