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The 10 Most Vacant Cities

It’s no secret that the U.S. housing market has seen better days. From falling home values and impaired labor mobility, to backed-up inventories and a flood of foreclosures, there are countless ways that real estate affects the economy at large.

One of the unfortunate results of a bad housing market is an increase in vacant homes, which has grown by 43.8 percent since 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.Homes can be vacant for a number of reasons, but are defined as both rental inventory that are unoccupied and “for rent,” as well as homes that are unoccupied and up for sale. As of the 2010 Census, there were approximately 15 million vacant housing units in the country, with an 11.4 percent gross vacancy rate nationwide.

Much like the range of diversity in home values from city to city, homeowner and rental vacancy rates vary dramatically depending on where you live. Every quarter, the Census publishes dataon homeowner and rental vacancies in the 75 largest U.S. cities that reveal which metro areas have the highest number of empty homes. The cities listed here are ranked by CNBC.com according to equal-weighted rankings in both rental and homeowner vacancies, which reveal the most significant outliers in both categories relative to other major U.S. cities.

So, what are the emptiest major U.S. cities? Click ahead to find out!

By Paul Toscano
Posted 11 October 2011

Photo: Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images