(Noah Berger/Reuters)

An eviction from an apartment can be one of the most traumatic events in someone’s life, with potentially long-lasting implications for the renters and their children. Evictions are a leading cause of homelessness and are linked, according to research by Apartment List, to poor health among adults and children.

The majority of evictions are caused by nonpayment of rent (77.3 percent), according to Apartment List’s report, with another 9.5 percent linked to other types of lease violations. The rest are related to causes such as a foreclosure on the landlord or the property being converted to a different use.

The number of evictions varies by location and demographics. While it might seem that evictions would be more common in markets with high rental costs, the opposite is true: The five markets with the lowest percentage of evictions are among the most expensive in the country, including San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Boston. The D.C. area tied with New Orleans at No. 10 on the list of markets with the lowest eviction rates.

Apartment List’s researchers say that strong job markets and high wages in those cities offset the high rents. In addition, strong tenant-protection laws play a role in reducing evictions.

The cities with the highest percentage of evictions tend to be those hit hard by the foreclosure crisis and with high rates of poverty, including Memphis, Phoenix, Atlanta, Indianapolis and Dallas.

Nearly 1 in 5 renters were unable to pay their rent in full for at least one of the previous three months in the Apartment List survey earlier in the fall. The company estimates that 3.7 million Americans have experienced an eviction.

Renters without a college education are more than twice as likely as those with a four-year degree to face eviction, according to Apartment List’s analysis. Their data analysis also found that black households face the highest rates of eviction, even when controlling for education and income.

Households with children, regardless whether their parents are married or whether they are living with one parent, are twice as likely to face the threat of eviction. Single-parent households are at the highest risk, with 30.1 percent reporting difficulty paying rent within the past three months. But 27.2 percent of married couples with children reported struggling to pay rent. For those without children, the rates are 14.7 percent for single respondents and 13.3 percent of married respondents.

For more data and analysis, click here.

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