PROJECTZoning Insights: Explore Data from the National Longitudinal Land Use Survey


As housing affordability concerns plague communities across the US, policymakers and researchers are looking to zoning practices as a potential contributor and remedy to the problem. Land use regulations affect housing supply and affordability, which have implications for racial and economic segregation, urban sprawl, and neighborhood investment. But because of the decentralized nature of zoning power, no central entity has records of localities’ varying land use regulations.

The Urban Institute, with support from Fannie Mae, fielded a survey of land use planning practices across jurisdictions in the 50 largest US metropolitan areas. The 2019 National Longitudinal Land Use Survey includes responses from roughly 1,700 jurisdictions, and those responses have been linked to similar survey questions from 2003 and 1994. The survey includes information about land use regulatory practices such as residential zoning density, impact fees, and accessory dwelling units. Its results allow researchers to examine zoning practices' effects on housing supply, as well as economic and social trends over the past three decades.

Explore highlights from the survey in the interactive below, and see the full dataset in Urban’s Data Catalog.



If you have questions or would like more information about the National Longitudinal Land Use Survey, contact us at [email protected].

Research Areas Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Economic mobility and inequality Land use Housing
Tags Land use and zoning
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center