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Many New Yorkers may laugh at the fantastically huge Manhattan apartments that are depicted on television shows like Friends, but to the rest of America's renters, such large abodes are more fact than fiction.

A national survey of 2,000 renters conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Home Builders reveals that the average size of an apartment in the U.S. swelled to 1,100 square feet in 2000, up from 900 square feet in 1980. And still, many renters are hankering for even more space. About two-thirds of apartment residents surveyed (68 percent) say they would like a bigger place, and 34 percent would prefer 1,400 square feet or more.

The fact that apartment dwellers are still primarily couples and singles without kids — 92 percent of apartment units house no school age children, and nearly half (44 percent) are one-person households — makes one wonder: what do they want all that extra room for?


While only 10 percent of renters today live in an apartment with three bedrooms, 30 percent wish they did.

Bedrooms Bathrooms
One 42% 13% 75% 30%
Two 46% 44% 23% 60%
Three 10% 30% 2% 9%
Four 1% 12% 0% 1%
Source: National Association of Home Builders
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