The Census Bureau’s latest Survey of Construction (SOC) shows changes in the shares of the number of bathrooms and half-bathrooms of single-family homes started in the United States in 2020. The latest data show that 3% of new single-family homes started had one bathroom or fewer, 65% had 2 bathrooms, 25% had 3 bathrooms, and 7% had 4 bathrooms or more. The term “bathroom” as used in this post refers to a full bathroom.
The above figure shows that the shares of new single-family homes started with 2 bathrooms and with 3 bathrooms increased from 2019, but the shares of new single-family homes started with 1 bathroom or fewer or 4 bathrooms or more decreased. Additionally, the annual shares of new homes with 2 bathrooms has consistently exceeded the other bathrooms-per-unit categories, usually maintaining levels between 60% and 70% since 2008.
The correlation between more starter homes (for first-time home-buyers) constructed in a given year and a fewer number of full bathrooms per unit is well established in recent and historical data. Starter homes are more likely to contain less space in terms of the square foot area of the house.
In higher tiers of single-family home sizes, there exist greater shares of single-family homes with 3 bathrooms or 4 bathrooms or more. Conversely, in lower tiers of single-family home sizes, fewer bathrooms are prevalent.
In 2020, 58% of all new single-family homes started that were less than 1,200 square feet had one or less bathrooms. In the next tier of single-family home size, those between 1,200 and 1,599 square feet, 91% of new homes started had 2 bathrooms. Moving to the highest tier of home sizes, those with square footage exceeding 5,000, 66% of new homes started had 4 or more full bathrooms.
Separately, examination of the SOC data for the share of 2 or more half-bathrooms constructed in all new homes started in 2020 reveals a proportion of 14% in homes started with 5,000 square feet or more.
Of smaller new homes, the proportion of homes with two half-bathrooms or more is 3% or fewer and in homes with square footages of 1,999 or less, it is simply not present. There is almost no share of homes with 2 or more half bathrooms in homes smaller than 2,000 square feet.