United States Housing Density Maps
Housing growth in the United States is a serious concern due to its rapid pace and wide ranging ecological impacts. Since 1940, housing has grown faster than population due to decreasing family size, a rising home ownership rate, and the continued popularity of second homes. Rural areas had the greatest population-housing divergence. Housing growth is blamed for the loss of wildlife habitat, declining forest productivity, increased vulnerability to wildland fire, the spread of exotic and invasive species, expansion of the road network, and the fragmentation of forests. Research that links housing growth to these and other detrimental effects is still sparse, because housing data and ecological data have been difficult to combine. Continued housing growth is expected across the country, which has many implications for resource management. Anticipating where the demand for homes will continue helps prioritize open space procurement and habitat protection efforts. The purpose of this project was to create a database useful for research into the effects of housing growth, and from it, generate projections needed for planning and research. Every effort was made to ensure data quality, and the metadata is complete and comprehensive.