Housing Environment - Vacancy Rate

This indicator reports the number and percentage of housing units that are vacant. A housing unit is considered vacant by the American Community Survey if no one is living in it at the time of interview. Units occupied at the time of interview entirely by persons who are staying two months or less and who have a more permanent residence elsewhere are considered to be temporarily occupied, and are classified as “vacant.”
Report Area Total Housing Units Vacant Housing Units Vacant Housing Units, Percent
Franklin County, PA 63,947 5,377 8.41%
Pennsylvania 5,585,611 626,752 11.22%
United States 133,351,840 16,425,535 12.32%
Note: This Indicator is compared with the state average. Green - Better than state average, Red - Worse than state average.
Data Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey. 2011-15. Source geography: Tract

Vacant Housing Units by Housing Market Classification, Total
Report Area Vacant Housing Units, for Sale Vacant Housing Units, for Rent Vacant Housing Units, for Other Use
Franklin County, PA 1,251 1,006 3,120
Pennsylvania 88,867 120,150 417,735
United States 2,120,851 3,565,741 10,738,943
Vacant Housing Units by Housing Market Classification, Percent
Report Area Vacant Housing Units, for Sale Vacant Housing Units, for Rent Vacant Housing Units, for Other Use
Franklin County, PA 2.89% 5.73% 36.72%
Pennsylvania 2.52% 7.29% 39.99%
United States 2.76% 7.79% 39.53%
Website Updated December 11 2017 Site Reviewed January 05 2018

Housing Environment - Vacancy Rate

Data Background

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide, continuous survey designed to provide communities with reliable and timely demographic, housing, social, and economic data. The ACS samples nearly 3 million addresses each year, resulting in nearly 2 million final interviews. The ACS replaces the long-form decennial census; however, the number of household surveys reported annually for the ACS is significantly less than the number reported in the long-form decennial census. As a result, the ACS combines detailed population and housing data from multiple years to produce reliable estimates for small counties, neighborhoods, and other local areas. Negotiating between timeliness and accuracy, the ACS annually releases current, one-year estimates for geographic areas with large populations; three-year and five-year estimates are also released each year for additional areas based on minimum population thresholds.

Citation: U.S. Census Bureau: A Compass for Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data (2008).

For more information about this source, including data collection methodology and definitions, refer to the American Community Survey website.


Counts for total housing units and housing units by vacancy status are acquired from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). Data represent estimates for the 5 year period 2011-2015. Data are summarized to 2010 census tract boundaries. The data on vacancy status were obtained only for a sample of cases in the computer-assisted personal interview (known as “CAPI”) follow-up by field representatives. Data on vacancy status were obtained at the time of the personal visit. Vacancy status and other characteristics of vacant units were determined by field representatives obtaining information from landlords, owners, neighbors, rental agents, and others. Indicator statistics are measured as a percentage total housing units using the following formula:

Percentage = [Vacant Housing Units] / [Total Housing Units] * 100

Vacant units are subdivided according to their housing market classification as follows:
  • For rent
  • Rented, not occupied
  • For sale only
  • Sold, not occupied
  • For seasonal, recreational, or occasional use
  • For migrant workers
  • Other
For more information on the data reported in the American Community Survey, please see the complete American Community Survey 2013 Subject Definitions.


Race and Ethnicity
Statistics by race and ethnicity are not provided for this indicator from the data source. Detailed race/ethnicity data may be available at a broader geographic level, or from a local source.

Courtesy: Community Commons, <www.communitycommons.org>, December 2017