Saturday, November 08, 2014

I'm Not Even Living Large by 1950s Standards

I came across this infographic on Twitter (hat tip: Burrito Justice). It shows how American families have been shrinking in size despite living in increasingly large houses.

Courtesy of MNN.com via TreeHugger.com.

According to this, the average home is approaching 2,500 square feet. For someone like me, who has spent most of his adult life in San Francisco and New York, that's hard to fathom.

Even when we lived a more suburban existence in Berkeley, our house was less than half that size.

Our family, meanwhile, is about twice the size of the current average. While our apartment feels spacious by New York standards, it's under 1,000 square feet. That means each person has less than 200 square feet apiece — significantly worse than a 1950s family.

In 2011, before I knew we were moving to New York or having a third child, I complained about how our space per person had gradually declined. ("It seems unlikely I will ever have room for a proper man cave," I groused.) I had no idea how bad it would get!

But I hereby vow to keep this family above 100 square feet per person, which I believe is the level at which your home becomes a Chinatown bunkhouse.

And at least we still have it better than the "Too Many Cooks" family.