The Oversized American Dream: Is The World Witnessing Its Passing?

Two wild mushrooms decorated as tiny homes
cute-mushroom-houses photo by Rena Noto is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Small is beautiful . . . or, small is necessary?

Spacious countries not lacking in wealth — the United States, Canada, Australia and other roomy elsewheres — dreamed big in the twentieth century. For many successful individuals, those lifestyle dreams were achievable: big houses on big lots. The median US family house size peaked in 2015 at nearly 2,500 square feet.

And now? Are we awakening from an accident of time and space to a more prosaic reality long shared by much of the world’s population? Fewer and fewer are the suitable spaces for such oversized national dreams, fewer still those who can afford their ever increasing costs.

Is a fascination with tiny housing nothing but a trendy middle-class nostalgia for children’s stories about gnomes and pixies who live in quaint and colourful mushrooms — small is beautiful? Or is it a reality shared by much of the world’s population — small is necessary?

Read an analysis of the future of downsized living in the Big Think: Millennials And The Rise Of Tiny Homes