Home ownership in the United States rose to a record-high rate of 69.2 percent in the second quarter, with 73.4 million Americans calling themselves homeowners, according to a Census Bureau report released today.

The second-quarter home-ownership rate rose from 68 percent in the second quarter of 2003, and increased from 68.6 percent in the first quarter of 2004.

When adjusted for seasonality, the current home-ownership rate at 69.3 percent was higher than 68.1 percent shown a year ago and also higher than the rate last quarter, 68.7 percent.

During the second quarter 2004, the home-ownership rates by region were highest in the Midwest (74.2 percent), while the South (70.9 percent) ranked second, the Northeast (65.4 percent) was third and the West (64.5 percent) had the lowest rate. The home-ownership rates for all regions were higher than their respective rates a year ago.

For second quarter 2004, the home-ownership rates by age of householder ranged from 43.6 percent for those under 35 years of age to 82.4 percent for those aged 55 to 64. All age categories shown had higher rates of home-ownership than their respective rates a year ago, except for the group aged 45 to 54.

The home-ownership rate for non-Hispanic White householders reporting a single race was highest (76.2 percent), while the category of single-race Black householders had the lowest rate (49.7 percent) in the current quarter. The rate for Hispanic householders (who can be of any race) was 47.4 percent. All of the rates by race were higher than their corresponding rates a year ago; the rate for Hispanics was not different from the rate last year.

For second quarter 2004, the home-ownership rate for households with family incomes greater than or equal to the median family income (83.9 percent) was not different from the rate reported last year. For those with incomes less than the median (53.1 percent), the rate was higher than a year ago.

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