Population, Employment, and Household Characteristics

The housing element must include a description and analysis of current population trends and employment data, including an identification of significant employers, industries, and typical wages. In addition, it must also include an analysis of household characteristics, such as tenure (rental or homeownership), growth rate, and trends.

Government Code

Two young boys smiling.

Government Code Section 65583(a) requires an assessment of housing needs and an inventory of resources and constraints relevant to the meeting of these needs. This assessment includes an analysis of population and employment trends (GC 65583 (a)(1)) and household characteristics (GC 65583 (a)(2)).

Requisite Analysis

Population Trends

  • Discuss current population and recent trends.
  • Describe amount and rate of population growth.
  • Compare population and rates of growth to the countywide or regional total and to surrounding jurisdictions.
  • Describe population by age.

Data Sources

Information regarding population data can be found using the U.S. Census American Community Survey, and the California Department of Finance (Report E-5). Pre-approved data packages are now available from HCD or your regional council of governments!

The data package information can be found by clicking the Regional Housing Needs section on the Regional Housing Needs Allocation and Housing Elements webpage.

Sample Tables

The following sample tables will help organize critical information pertaining to housing-element requirements. The information provided in the tables should be tailored to the jurisdiction and followed by appropriate analysis. (Note: These sample tables are not intended to be a substitute for addressing the analytical requirements described in the statute.)

Population Growth Trends
Year Population Numerical Change Percent Change Average Annual Growth Rate

Population Trends — Neighboring Jurisdictions
Jurisdiction Name 2000 2010 Change (2000-2001)
  Number Percent

Population by Age
Age 2000 2010
Group Number Percent Number Percent
0-9 years        
10-19 years        
20-24 years        
25-34 years        
35-44 years        
45-54 years        
55-59 years        
60-64 years        
65-74 years        
75-84 years        
85+ years        
Median Age        

Employment Trends

  • Describe employment by industry trends using the most-recent U.S. Census American Community Survey data. Discuss recent and anticipated changes in employment and impacts on the housing market.
  • Discuss opportunities for promoting and improving jobs-housing balance, such as mixed-use and other zoning opportunities to facilitate housing that is located near jobs and job centers.
  • Identify some of the larger employers in the area and typical types of jobs and earnings.
  • Generally discuss wage ranges of major employers and employment sectors and related housing needs for employees earning those wages.

Data Sources

Information regarding employment data can be found using the U.S. Census American Community Survey data, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the California Economic Development Department. Wage and housing affordability data can be found using the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach report and the Center for Housing Policy’s Paycheck-to-Paycheck data.

Sample Table

Employment by Industry
Industry Type 2010
Number Percent
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining    
Wholesale trade    
Retail trade    
Transportation, warehousing, and utilities    
Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing    
Professional, scientific, management, administration    
Education, health, and social services    
Arts, entertainment, recreation, and services    
Other services    
Public administration    

Household Growth

  • Describe current number of households by tenure (rental or ownership).
  • Describe and analyze changes in proportion of renter and owner households.
  • Discuss household-growth trends in relation to types of housing needed.
  • Discuss numerical, annual household growth.
  • Describe how the housing needs of owners and renters are being met.
  • Discuss the number and change of renters in single-family units versus multifamily units.

Data Sources

Information regarding household data can be found using the US Census (2010 Census, SF 2: QT-H2, 2000 Census, SF 3: H7), most-recent U.S. Census American Community Survey, and the California Department of Finance (Report E-5).

Sample Tables

Household Growth Trends (2000 - Current)
Year Households Numerical Change Annual Percent Change

Households by Tenure
  2000 2010 Current*
  Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
* if available