U.S. renters spent a cumulative $4.5 trillion on rent during the 2010s, according to a new Zillow analysis. That’s more than the GDP of Germany or the combined market values of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet.

In 2019 alone, renters spent more than $512 billion on housing – the most of any year in this decade. Altogether, renters spent 2.9% more on rent in 2019 than they did in 2018 and 46.5% more than in 2009 ($349.8 billion).

The current median rent is $1,600 per month, up 2.3% from a year ago. Rent prices have been on the rise since 2012, creating an affordability crunch that has led many renters to make sacrifices in order to pay their rent, including living with roommates longer or reducing their savings for a down payment. Nationally, rent prices grew the fastest in June 2015, when the U.S. median rent rose 6.5% annually.

However, the rental market stabilized toward the end of the decade – annual rent growth slowed to less than 1% in late 2017 before ticking back up. By the end of the year 2020, Zillow predicts rent growth will slow slightly once more, stabilizing in line with wage growth and inflation at a rate of just under 2% annually.

Renters in the New York metro area spent the most on rent in 2019 and throughout the decade, followed by renters in the Los Angeles and San Francisco metro areas. New York renters spent a collective $56.6 billion on rent in 2019, compared to $39.2 billion in Los Angeles and $16.4 billion in San Francisco. In the 2010s as a whole, renters spent $506.9 billion on rent in New York, $345.9 billion in Los Angeles and $141.1 billion in San Francisco.

However, comparatively more affordable metro areas in Southern states have seen some of the most significant rent price growth throughout the past decade. In Austin and Raleigh, the total amount of money spent on rent in a year has nearly doubled since 2009. Renters in Austin spent $4.7 billion on rent in 2019, compared to $2.5 billion in 2009. Renters in Raleigh spent a cumulative $2 billion on rent in 2019, up from $1.1 billion in 2009.

In 2019 alone, the total rent paid increased the most in Phoenix and Las Vegas. Compared to last year, the total rent paid is up 7.5% in Phoenix and 5.6% in Las Vegas. Rent prices in these areas are generally on the rise — as of October, rents in Phoenix and Las Vegas are growing the fastest of the country’s 50 largest metro areas.

Metropolitan AreaTotal Rent Paid
Total Rent
Paid 2019
1-year Change in
Total Rent Paid
10-year Change
in Total Rent Paid
United States$4.5 trillion$512.4 billion2.9%46.5%
New York, NY$506.9 billion$56.6 billion3.0%35.0%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$345.9 billion$39.2 billion1.9%38.7%
Chicago, IL$137.7 billion$15.2 billion2.9%35.8%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX$104.2 billion$13.2 billion3.2%83.7%
Philadelphia, PA$80.8 billion$9.2 billion2.9%45.8%
Houston, TX$90.4 billion$10.8 billion1.7%65.8%
Washington, D.C.$133.6 billion$15.1 billion3.7%55.6%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL$106.2 billion$12.3 billion2.1%54.5%
Atlanta, GA$76.2 billion$9.8 billion5.4%84.5%
Boston, MA$98.1 billion$11.3 billion1.4%48.7%
San Francisco, CA$141.1 billion$16.4 billion2.3%56.4%
Detroit, MI$44.7 billion$5.0 billion0.5%38.2%
Riverside, CA$63.1 billion$7.4 billion5.5%49.7%
Phoenix, AZ$63.6 billion$7.8 billion7.5%60.4%
Seattle, WA$80.0 billion$10.1 billion4.1%71.2%
Minneapolis-St Paul, MN$44.7 billion$5.3 billion3.2%65.6%
San Diego, CA$86.2 billion$10.4 billion4.9%53.6%
St. Louis, MO$27.5 billion$3.1 billion4.1%37.8%
Tampa, FL$43.9 billion$5.3 billion4.0%61.9%
Baltimore, MD$42.4 billion$4.6 billion-0.1%36.6%
Denver, CO$50.7 billion$6.3 billion3.4%88.2%
Pittsburgh, PA$22.3 billion$2.5 billion1.3%35.3%
Portland, OR$41.1 billion$4.7 billion1.7%50.8%
Charlotte, NC$28.1 billion$3.6 billion5.5%80.3%
Sacramento, CA$40.5 billion$4.8 billion4.2%45.0%
San Antonio, TX$26.8 billion$2.9 billion-0.4%47.8%
Orlando, FL$35.7 billion$4.6 billion4.3%83.9%
Cincinnati, OH$21.7 billion$2.5 billion2.4%43.6%
Cleveland, OH$23.1 billion$2.6 billion3.8%38.8%
Kansas City, MO$24.3 billion$2.9 billion3.2%69.1%
Las Vegas, NV$38.0 billion$4.5 billion5.6%38.3%
Columbus, OH$24.7 billion$2.8 billion1.1%50.4%
Indianapolis, IN$21.7 billion$2.5 billion2.6%45.8%
San Jose, CA$56.3 billion$6.6 billion0.4%65.8%
Austin, TX$36.7 billion$4.7 billion5.1%92.6%
Virginia Beach, VA$26.8 billion$2.8 billion0.4%22.5%
Nashville, TN$23.0 billion$2.8 billion2.2%83.4%
Providence, RI$22.6 billion$2.4 billion2.0%31.9%
Milwaukee, WI$22.3 billion$2.5 billion4.0%35.6%
Jacksonville, FL$18.6 billion$2.3 billion4.9%55.6%
Memphis, TN$14.7 billion$1.6 billion-2.2%29.7%
Oklahoma City, OK$14.1 billion$1.5 billion-1.1%38.3%
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY$11.9 billion$1.3 billion-0.6%38.4%
Hartford, CT$16.1 billion$1.8 billion-1.5%38.8%
Richmond, VA$16.0 billion$1.8 billion0.1%40.7%
New Orleans, LA$16.6 billion$1.7 billion-1.5%24.2%
Buffalo, NY$12.1 billion$1.4 billion3.3%38.9%
Raleigh, NC$16.5 billion$2.0 billion3.4%91.0%
Birmingham, AL$9.5 billion$1.1 billion2.3%35.8%
Salt Lake City, UT$13.1 billion$1.5 billion1.0%49.1%