Size Matters: Measuring Homes in Feet per Decade

During the 20th Century, the growth of the average American home far exceeded the growth of the average American, according to a information in a new report by RealtyTrac®, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data.

Using data on the square footage of millions of homes in each decade from 1900 to 2000, RealtyTrac determined that the footprint of the median U.S. home grew from 1612 square feet to 2,312 square feet.

At the same time, scientists report that improvements in diet and public health helped the American male add four inches in height, rising from an average of 5′ 6″ in 1900 to 5′ 10″ in 2000.

While homes increased at a 43 percent rate and the humans inside them at a comfortable six percent, the good news is that life expectancy outstripped both of them. A newborn in 1900 could expect, on average, to reach the age of 47. White women were likely to live a little longer, white men a little less, and African Americans of either sex would be lucky to see their 34th birthdays. Today, they all have a shot at seven decades with white women on average hitting 80.

Below are RealtyTrac’s findings, decade by decade:

Decade Homes Counted Average Sq. Feet
1900-1909 1,502,693 1,612
1910-1919 1,270,085 1,539
1920-1929 2,887,579 1,469
1930-1939 1,952,164 1,479
1940-1949 3,855,195 1,340
1950-1959 8,639,565 1,400
1960-1969 7,280,361 1,593
1970-1979 8,201,665 1,705
1980-1989 7,541,311 1,831
1990-1999 8,707,169 2,058
2000-2009 11,283,418 2,247
2010-2015 1,293,409 2,312

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