Where in the U.S. Can You Get the Most Square Feet Per Person?

Written by Carly Hallman

It’s no secret that the biggest cities often offer less square footage compared to the amount of living space in other locations. The New York City metropolitan area in particular is known for its small apartments rented out for incredible amounts of money. Are you planning on moving soon and wondering how many square feet per person you can get? We gathered data on the median residential square feet per person in 55 metropolitan areas in the United States.

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Where in the U.S. Can You Get the Most Square Feet Per Person? Transcript

Based on the most recent Census data on median square feet per person in all occupied units in 55 metropolitan areas in the United States.

Metro State Median Square Footage Median Square Feet Per Person
Memphis TN-MS-AR 1,700 825
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell GA 1,800 800
Birmingham-Hoover AL 1,700 800
New Orleans-Metairie LA 1,600 800
Richmond VA 1,600 800
Jacksonville FL 1,570 800
Baltimore MD 1,668 790
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise NV 1,600 788
Orlando FL 1,518 782
St. Louis MO-IL 1,600 777
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI 1,750 775
Raleigh NC 1,720 767
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC 1,600 767
Cincinnati OH-KY-IN 1,600 760
Cleveland-Elyria OH 1,500 753
Denver-Aurora CO 1,600 750
Indianapolis IN 1,600 750
Rochester NY 1,600 750
Columbus OH 1,580 750
Kansas City MO-KS 1,575 750
Louisville KY-IN 1,500 750
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis WI 1,500 750
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro TN 1,500 750
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater FL 1,460 750
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC 1,560 733
Oklahoma City OK 1,502 733
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale AZ 1,600 725
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MI 1,400 725
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV 1,600 721
Fort Worth-Arlington TX 1,600 720
Buffalo NY 1,500 720
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX 1,586 702
Houston-Baytown-Sugar Land TX 1,640 700
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD 1,600 700
San Antonio-New Braunfels TX 1,554 700
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford CT 1,518 700
Austin-Round Rock TX 1,500 700
Tucson AZ 1,458 696
Pittsburgh PA 1,456 684
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin IL-IN-WI 1,400 675
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro OR-WA 1,500 667
Boston-Cambridge-Newton MA-NH 1,475 666
Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville CA 1,500 663
Northern New Jersey NJ 1,500 650
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue WA 1,500 650
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach FL 1,400 650
Providence-Fall River-Warwick RI-MA 1,400 650
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA 1,500 601
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Grove CA 1,440 600
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward CA 1,428 600
San Diego CA 1,335 600
New York-Newark-Jersey City NY-NJ-PA 1,150 580
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA 1,400 575
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim CA 1,250 550
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward CA 1,250 550
United States 1,500 700

Source:

https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs.html

According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of square feet per person is computed by dividing the square footage of a housing unit by the number of people living there. A housing unit is defined as “a house, apartment, group of rooms, or single room occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters.” The median square footage per person is rounded to the nearest foot.

Areas With the Most and Least Square Feet per Person

These are the ten metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the largest median amounts of square feet per person:

  1. Memphis, TN-MS-AR: 825
  2. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA: 800
  3. Birmingham-Hoover, AL: 800
  4. New Orleans-Metairie, LA: 800
  5. Richmond, VA: 800
  6. Jacksonville, FL: 800
  7. Baltimore, MD: 790
  8. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV: 788
  9. Orlando, FL: 782
  10. Louis, MO-IL: 777

These are the ten metropolitan areas with the smallest median amounts of square feet per person:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: 550
  2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA: 550
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: 575
  4. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: 580
  5. San Diego, CA: 600
  6. Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA: 600
  7. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Grove, CA: 600
  8. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA: 601
  9. Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA: 650
  10. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL: 650

What’s an Average House, and What Does it Cost?

Wondering what the median house size in the U.S. is? According to the United States Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, the median square footage of all occupied housing units in the United States is 1,500 square feet. The median amount of space per person is 700 square feet. But housing in the United States varies so much that the average square footage of a house can be dramatically different from one place to the next. From spacious McMansions in suburban areas to tightly packed apartment buildings in big cities, the sizes of housing units can differ greatly.

When you consider the median price per square foot of housing around the country, the contrast is even greater. In Manhattan, the price per square foot is $1,371. Compare that to the median price per square foot of homes in Memphis, which is $69. Depending on where in the country you live, a housing budget of $500,000 could either get you a modest apartment or a spacious family home.

Making the Most of Your Square Footage

Whether you live in a small apartment or are just looking to maximize the space you have, these tips can help your living space look larger and more open:

  • Take advantage of the hidden storage space under kitchen counters, beds, and coffee tables to keep clutter out of the way.
  • Opt for multi-functional furniture pieces, like an ottoman that doubles as a storage chest, to avoid a cluttered look in high-traffic areas.
  • Pay attention to paint color. Bright colors like off-white, gray, and taupe can help reflect light and make a room look bigger and more spacious.
  • Choose tall bookcases and shelves that maximize vertical storage and don’t take up much floor space.
  • Add mirrors to rooms that feel small. Mirrors create the illusion that a space is bigger than it really is and reflect natural light.

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