USAFacts is a non-partisan organization that publishes interesting articles based on government data. A recent piece discussed the apparent contradiction that homes in the U.S. are getting larger at a time when the average family size is shrinking. As shown below, the average population per household has declined from 3.7 in 1940 to 2.5 in 2022.
Yet, the average square footage of a new single-family home is 20% larger than in 1990. So, what is going on? Changing consumer tastes may be one explanation as is the possibility that larger homes are just the product of rising incomes and national prosperity. However, there are a couple of very interesting underlying trends that may be in play. First, the number of people age 25-34 living with their parents has increased by 87% since 2000 now totaling just under 8 million. Second, the number of people working from home has tripled to 27.6 million since 2019. Both of these trends call for more space. This is a good reminder that economic outcomes are the result of individual behavior which is frequently based on emotion and subject to change.