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February 16, 2011

Distribution of Home Sizes in the US

You may often hear something in the press like "the average new house is now 2,400 sq. ft". This might lead us to believe that a 'typical' or 'average' house is 2,400 sq ft. right? Well no. The key word there is "new house". New houses are larger than old houses. The median house size in the USA is currently 1,800 sq. ft. Since that is the median, that means that half the houses out there are less than 1800 and half are more than 1800. Thats a lot less than 2,400.

The census has data on houses. The American Housing Survey for 2009 has all sorts of data on housing in the US. I looked specifically at table 3-3 'size of unit and lot' to get the data below on current home sizes.

Graphically the distribution of home sizes for owner occupied houses looks like this:

Note that the far right item covers 5.3% of home sizes that were 'not reported'.

Lets chop the data up and look at it a few ways:

45% of homes are between 1,000 and 1,999 sq. ft.
41% of homes are between 1,500 and 2,499 sq. ft.
63% of homes are between 1,000 and 2,499 sq. ft.
72% of homes are between 1,000 and 2,999 sq. ft.

7.3% of homes are less than 1,000 sq. ft.
14.8% of homes are over 3,000 sq. ft.

Here is the data in table format:

Less than 500 383 0.6%
500 to 749 1,085 1.6%
750 to 999 3,519 5.1%
1,000 to 1,499 14,978 21.8%
1,500 to 1,999 16,284 23.7%
2,000 to 2,499 12,057 17.5%
2,500 to 2,999 6,622 9.6%
3,000 to 3,999 6,391 9.3%
4,000 or more 3,787 5.5%
Not reported 3,638 5.3%
Total 68,742

I'm only looking at owner occupied homes. So this does not include rental properties.

Currently our house falls roughly in the middle at about 1,400 sq. ft. We're looking into getting a bigger home eventually.

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