About 20.7 million rental households – nearly half of all renters – spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing in 2013, according to a report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies that was first published in The Washington Post.
About 11 million of those households spent more than half of their paycheck on rent and utilities – that's up 37 percent since 2003.
Most financial advisers recommend owners and renters to spend under a third of their pay on housing costs.
"The rental housing crisis is everywhere," says Angela Boyd, vice president of advocacy at Enterprise Community Partners, an affordable housing advocacy organization.
In some cities, wages are still not high enough to make rents affordable.
The metro area with the highest amount of expenditures by renters in the U.S. is in Miami, where 36 percent of renters spent more than half of their pay on rent and utilities in 2013, according to the report that looked at 100 metro areas. In New Orleans, renters are spending an average of 35 percent of their pay to housing, the second highest of the cities studied.
Middle class families earning between $45,000 and $75,000 appear to be struggling the most in facing the higher rental costs with those who in that income bracket spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing rising by 72 percent between 2013 and 2003.
Meanwhile, the report found that 19 million home owners – about one in four – spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing in 2013, which is the lowest share in a decade.