What Is Considered a “Small” Apartment?

We spend a lot of time writing about small spaces at Apartment Therapy, so I wanted to figure out what “small” really means. I researched data, uncovered local laws, and polled opinions to unpack this loaded term for the benefit of our readers—who were quick to jump in on Facebook and the on-site comments to share their own beliefs.

Some words have different meanings depending on the geography of the soil where you’re standing when you say them. A “biscuit” in England is a “cookie” in America. “Pop” in the South is something balloons do, while in the Midwest, it’s the favored name for a fizzy soft drink. And worst of all, the standards for what constitutes a “small apartment” vary wildly based on location. In New York City, a “small” apartment may be 300 square feet. In Atlanta (where I live and home of the country’s largest apartments) 300 square feet is practically unlivable.