This Is American Excess: 10 Startling Statistics

Updated: Sep 2, 2019



{Because, Yes We're Really Excessive & Here are the Hard Numbers}

Throughout print and digital media the trend of “minimalist living” is on the rise as seen in popular vlogs, blogs, and documentaries. There are some pretty staggering statistics in support of the idea that some Americans may need to re-evaluate how much stuff they really own. (I completely include myself in this, being an entirely oblivious and wasteful maximalist myself.)


I first saw statistic #1 on Joshua Becker’s becomingminimalist blog and simply could not believe it was true. However, as I look around with these numbers in mind, the more apparent it becomes that there is an excess of objects all around us. Check out these 10 freaky stats on American consumerism.


#1. There are 300,000 items in the average American home. - LA TIMES


#2. If you’re an average American, you produce 4.4. pounds of trash every single day, significantly more than the global average of 2.6 pounds.  - EPA | - WEFORUM


#3. In a nation of nearly 324 million people, that amounts to more than 700,000 tons of garbage produced daily - enough to fill around 60,000 garbage trucks. - EPA


#4. The EPA estimates that Americans generated about 254 million tons of garbage in 2013. - EPA


#5. The average American woman owns 30 outfits - one for every day of the month. In 1930, that figure was nine. - FORBES


#6. The average American family spends $1,700 on clothes annually. - FORBES


#7. While the average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year.

- HUFFINGTON POST


#8. Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually on "non-essential goods" - items they do not need. - WALL STREET JOURNAL


#9. There are more self-storage facilities in America than there are McDonald’s restaurants. There were 48,500 self-storage facilities in America at the end of 2014, compared to a mere 14,350 McDonald’s restaurants. As of 2016 there is 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation. Thus, it is physically possible that every American could stand all at the same time under the total canopy of self storage roofing.

- HUFFINGTON POST


#10. According to an NPR report, the average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past 50 years. Yet 1 out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage, the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry over the past four decades. - NPR | NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE


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