Gated Community Data

Number of Gated communities in the United states

Estimates of the number of housing units behind gates are difficult to find. In 2012, 10 million residential units were estimated to be part of gated communities (this estimate is described as “misleadingly low”). Between 2001 and 2009, the United States saw a 53% growth in housing units in gated communities. [2]   

The American Housing Survey deleted “Secured Communities” from its data in 2017, so the most recent Census Data with this figure is 2015. The data for secured communities in 2015 is as follows:[3]   

Secured CommunitiesTotal Units
House, apartment, manufactured/mobile home 68,480,000
Community access secured with walls or fences 10,999,000
Community access not secured 56,309,000
Community access not reported 1,172,000

So the above tells us that in 2015, there were nearly 11 million units in Secured Communities with walls or fences. It is a safe bet that the majority of these units are behind gates.


Of the 119,116,517 housing units represented by the AHS, 106,406,951 were occupied year-round, with 7,058,427 (5.9
percent) households reporting that they lived in communities surrounded by walls or fences and 4,013,665 (3.4 percent)
households reporting that access to their communities was controlled by some means. Only respondents who said they
lived in a walled or fenced community answered the survey question about controlled access, which means that nearly 60
percent of the walled or gated communities also had controlled entries (i.e., gates). The percentages of walled or controlled-access communities vary by region of the country, with households in the West having a higher likelihood of living in walled communities (11.1 percent), followed by the South (6.8 percent), the Northeast (3.1 percent), and the Midwest (2.1 percent). One explanation for the regional distribution of walled and gated communities is that they are more prevalent in new construction, with significant amounts of new residential development in the West and South. The regional concentration of walled and gated households is also reflected at the metropolitan scale (see Table 1).

City – Metro Area% Walled% Access Controlled
Los Angeles18.211.7
New York5.21.7
Washington, D.C.4.32.6
Top 10 Gated Communities by Geographic Location (2001 AHS Data)



Household Characteristics
Contrary to the notion that primarily affluent homeowners live in gated communities, the results of the AHS survey show
that renters are nearly 2.5 times more likely to live in walled or fenced communities and over 3 times as likely to have controlled entries. These renters include households in public housing projects, which often have walled and gated design elements. The survey data also show that owners and renters have significantly different demographic profiles, with owners more likely to be white compared to renters (86.4 percent compared to 67.1 percent), to have higher incomes ($73,548 compared to $35,831), to have older heads of households (fifty-two years old compared to forty-two years old), and to have slightly larger households (2.7 persons compared to 2.3 persons).