Despite the biggest decline in homeownership rates since the Great Depression, 73 percent of all Minnesota households owned their own house, according to the just-released 2010 Census. It was the second-highest homeownership rate in the nation, only .4 percent behind West Virginia.

Though home sales have plummeted, foreclosure rates have skyrocketed and the economic downturn have wreaked havoc on the broader economy, the homeownership rate fell 1.1 percentage points to 65.1 percent between 2000 and 2010. Sounds like only a blip, but it was the biggest decrease since the period from 1930 to 1940.

Officials with housing groups in Minnesota attribute the state’s high ranking to a variety of support services from both private and public groups. “There’s an emphasis on education and counseling that doesn’t exist elsewhere,” said Ed Nelson, communications manager for the Minnesota Home Ownership Center. Despite the historic decline in rates, homeowners still outnumber renters in the majority of the metro areas throughout the nation’s largest cities, including the four most populous cities.

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