News of the obvious: Our houses are getting bigger

My older son just took out a subscription to Popular Science. There were two things about the magazine that surprised me: First, the stories were quite entertaining, even to a non-science guy like myself. Secondly, there were an awful lot of ads for male enhancement products in the back. I suppose that is science. And I suppose it is popular among a certain portion of readers.

One of the more entertaining stories focused on scientific studies that proved the painfully obvious. For instance, the story included information on a study showing that senior citizens prefer to remember happier memories, one proving that people are happier on the weekends, another showing that mean gym teachers can turn people off to sports and another proving that college graduates want higher salaries. These are all “duh” results.

I thought of this as a I read the recent report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that homes in the United States are getting larger. According to the study, the median size of an occupied residence in the United States now stands at 1,800 square feet, up from 1,600 square feet in 1985. Not surprisingly, homes built since 2007 are even larger; their median square feet stands at 2,300.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s stepped into a newer home. Of course newer homes are bigger. We have more stuff to cram in them. The survey also says that a greater number of homes have three or more bedrooms and two or more bathrooms today than in the past. Again, this can’t be considered surprising, can it?

Who knows? Maybe Popular Science will one day run a story on this study, too.

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