Special Report

The Size of a Home the Year You Were Born

NNehring / E+ via Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic precipitated a surge in home sales across the country as people looked to flee densely populated cities, looking for more room and space for the entire family. The high demand for homes has coincided with a spike in new home construction, which reached its highest point in more than a decade. The increased supply was not enough to offset demand, and home prices surged. This is how much a typical home costs in every state.  

The history of the U.S. housing market has been marked by periods of rampant building and of lulls, even as the population has expanded relatively steadily. Even with this recent increase, new home construction would have to rise considerably to reach the rate at which they were being built in the early 2000s — the period immediately preceding the subprime mortgage crisis.  

The American housing market has not only been through substantial fluctuations in the number of housing units being built, but also in the size of the homes built. Changing family size, rising incomes, and suburban expansion have all led to changes in the size of the typical single-family home.

To determine how the size of homes has changed over the past century, 24/7 Wall St. determined the average size of a newly constructed single-family house between 1920 and 2017 by reviewing official U.S. Census figures and providing our own estimates for years the Census did not release this data.

Click here to see the size of a home the year you were born.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.

1920
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,048 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 242 sq. feet
> New homes started: 247,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $10,164

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1921
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,011 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 233 sq. feet
> New homes started: 449,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $9,743

1922
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 818 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 188 sq. feet
> New homes started: 716,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $10,141

1923
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 742 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 171 sq. feet
> New homes started: 871,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $11,284

1924
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 777 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 179 sq. feet
> New homes started: 893,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $11,409

1925
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 967 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 223 sq. feet
> New homes started: 937,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $11,500

1926
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 994 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 229 sq. feet
> New homes started: 849,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $12,086

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1927
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 989 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 228 sq. feet
> New homes started: 810,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $12,038

1928
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,222 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 282 sq. feet
> New homes started: 753,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $12,025

1929
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,233 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 284 sq. feet
> New homes started: 509,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $9,668

1930
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,129 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 275 sq. feet
> New homes started: 330,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $7,847

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1931
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,213 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 295 sq. feet
> New homes started: 254,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $7,288

1932
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 889 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 216 sq. feet
> New homes started: 134,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $6,308

1933
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,267 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 308 sq. feet
> New homes started: 93,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $6,192

1934
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 826 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 201 sq. feet
> New homes started: 126,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $6,817

1935
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 992 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 241 sq. feet
> New homes started: 221,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $7,373

1936
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,129 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 275 sq. feet
> New homes started: 319,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $8,273

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1937
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,135 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 276 sq. feet
> New homes started: 336,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $8,643

1938
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 959 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 233 sq. feet
> New homes started: 406,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $8,292

1939
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,046 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 254 sq. feet
> New homes started: 515,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $8,881

1940
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,177 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 321 sq. feet
> New homes started: 603,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $9,583

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1941
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,153 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 314 sq. feet
> New homes started: 706,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $11,171

1942
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,044 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 557 sq. feet
> New homes started: 356,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $13,138

1943
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,692 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 461 sq. feet
> New homes started: 191,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $15,166

1944
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 837 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 228 sq. feet
> New homes started: 142,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $16,181

1945
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 797 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 217 sq. feet
> New homes started: 326,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $15,850

1946
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 817 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 223 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,023,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $13,869

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1947
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 903 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 254 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,268,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $14,118

1948
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 800 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 229 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,362,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $14,448

1949
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 767 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 224 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,466,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $14,120

1950
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 983 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 292 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,952,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $15,092

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1951
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 874 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 262 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,491,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $16,033

1952
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 910 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 274 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,504,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $16,405

1953
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 917 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 279 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,438,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $16,894

1954
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,140 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 341 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,551,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $16,503

1955
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,170 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 351 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,646,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $17,371

1956
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,230 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 370 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,349,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $17,432

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1957
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,305 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 392 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,224,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $17,482

1958
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,289 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 386 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,382,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $17,065

1959
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,300 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 389 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,554,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $17,943

1960
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,289 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 387 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,296,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $18,036

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1961
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,284 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 382 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,365,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $18,196

1962
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,309 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 396 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,492,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $19,017

1963
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,450 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 435 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,635,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $19,561

1964
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,470 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 441 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,561,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $20,405

1965
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,525 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 461 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,510,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $21,459

1966
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,570 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 476 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,196,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $22,614

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1967
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,610 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 491 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,322,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $22,982

1968
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,665 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 515 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,545,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $23,872

1969
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,640 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 514 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,500,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $24,377

1970
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,500 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 478 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,469,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $24,143

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1971
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,520 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 489 sq. feet
> New homes started: 2,052,200
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $24,624

1972
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,555 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 508 sq. feet
> New homes started: 2,356,600
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $25,643

1973
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,660 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 551 sq. feet
> New homes started: 2,045,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $26,834

1974
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,695 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 571 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,338,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $26,446

1975
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,645 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 560 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,160,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $26,135

1976
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,700 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 588 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,538,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $27,278

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1977
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,720 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 601 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,987,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $28,253

1978
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,755 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 625 sq. feet
> New homes started: 2,020,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $29,503

1979
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,760 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 633 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,745,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $30,104

1980
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,740 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 630 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,292,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $29,682

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1981
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,720 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 630 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,084,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $30,133

1982
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,710 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 629 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,062,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $29,308

1983
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,725 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 632 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,703,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $30,373

1984
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,780 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 657 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,750,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $32,288

1985
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,785 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 664 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,742,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $33,336

1986
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,825 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 684 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,805,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $34,179

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1987
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,905 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 716 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,621,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $35,047

1988
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 1,995 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 756 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,488,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $36,180

1989
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,035 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 777 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,376,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $37,157

1990
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,080 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 791 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,193,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $37,436

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1991
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,075 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 789 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,014,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $36,900

1992
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,095 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 800 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,200,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $37,695

1993
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,095 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 788 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,288,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $38,233

1994
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,100 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 787 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,457,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $39,294

1995
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,095 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 791 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,354,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $39,875

1996
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,120 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 800 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,477,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $40,899

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1997
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,150 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 814 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,474,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $42,210

1998
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,190 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 836 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,617,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $43,591

1999
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,223 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 852 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,640,900
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $45,144

2000
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,266 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 865 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,568,700
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $46,497

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2001
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,324 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 901 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,602,700
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $46,497

2002
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,320 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 899 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,704,900
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $46,858

2003
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,330 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 907 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,847,700
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $47,755

2004
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,349 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 914 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,955,800
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $49,124

2005
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,434 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 947 sq. feet
> New homes started: 2,068,300
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $50,381

2006
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,469 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 961 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,800,900
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $51,330

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2007
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,521 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 985 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,355,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $51,794

2008
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,519 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 984 sq. feet
> New homes started: 905,500
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $51,241

2009
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,438 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 949 sq. feet
> New homes started: 554,000
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $49,501

2010
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,392 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 924 sq. feet
> New homes started: 586,900
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $50,355

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2011
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,480 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 969 sq. feet
> New homes started: 608,800
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $50,770

2012
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,505 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 982 sq. feet
> New homes started: 780,600
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $51,548

2013
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,598 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 1,023 sq. feet
> New homes started: 924,900
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $52,141

2014
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,657 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 1,046 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,003,300
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $53,076

2015
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,687 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 1,058 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,111,800
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $54,320

2016
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,640 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 1,039 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,173,800
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $54,861

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2017
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,631 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 1,036 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,152,900
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $55,790

2018
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,588 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 1,019 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,184,900
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $57,158

2019
> Avg. floor area of a new single-family home: 2,509 sq. feet
> Avg. floor area per person: 988 sq. feet
> New homes started: 1,255,100
> GDP per capita (inflation adjusted): $58,113

Methodology

To determine the average size of a newly constructed single-family home between 1971 and 2019, 24/7 Wall St. used survey data from the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey and Characteristics of New Housing series. For the years 1963 and 1970 we used data from the Census Bureau’s U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 1969 “Characteristics of New One-Family Homes” construction report. For the years 1940, 1950, and 1954 to 1956, we used the Bureau of Labor Statistics New Housing and its Materials 1940-56 report. 

For all other years, we estimated the average size of a newly constructed home using construction data on residential housing starts and total residential floor space constructed in a given year from the Census Bureau’s annual “Statistical Abstracts of the United States” and its “Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970” report. We took the quotient of total residential floor space and total residential housing starts and made adjustments to account for the inclusion of multi-family housing units and exclusion of various states in the national tally of total floor space constructed. 

We also adjusted housing starts to better approximate housing completions. Average household size also came from the Census Bureau. GDP per capita figures for years 1929 to 2019 are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. GDP per capita figures for years 1920 to 1928, which were not available from the BEA, came from estimates by the Maddison Project. 

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