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How Has the Average Size of American Homes Changed over Time?

The average American house size has more than doubled since the 1950s, despite the fact that the average family size has steadily dropped. In the 1950s, the average house measured about 1,000 square feet (about 90 square meters) and housed three or four people. Since then, the average house size has grown to about 2,500 square feet (about 230 square meters), and the average house is home to two or three people.

More about house and family sizes:

  • The average global family size is about five people per household, a number that the U.S. hasn't reached since the 1800s.

  • Americans don't actually have the market cornered on large houses — the nation with the largest houses in the world is Australia, with an average house size of about 2,600 square feet (about 245 square meters). The country with the largest family size is Iraq, with an average of eight people per household, followed by Pakistan and Yemen, each with about seven people per household. (

  • Scandinavian countries tend to have the smallest family sizes, with an average of two people per household in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The smallest houses in Europe are found in the U.K., where the average new family house is about 800 square feet (about 76 square meters). One of the developed countries with the smallest average house size is Japan, with an average size of 160-215 square feet (15-20 square meters)
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