The US Census keeps track of all the homes built in the US and their square footage. Over the years, we've increased dramatically (which isn't a shocker), but what is curious is how, over recent years, our numbers are actually starting to drop. Things stall out just about 2,000 square feet for the average home, which should hold a family of 4 nicely. You can see the full pdf dating back to the 70's: PDF.
When it comes to apartments however, we're thinking each person needs at least 200 square feet to make due (though we'd be far more comfortable in 450 or so). That of course is ridiculously tiny, but when it comes to having an adult size bed, bathroom and some space to cook, sit exist other than in bed, that's the number we're sticking to. How does that number compare in your book? Should it be larger or smaller? What's the smallest space you think you could live in without heading for the hills vs. the amount of space that will someday exist in your dream house? Let us know below! Image: US Census, Small Cool 2010: Chris' Furniture Tetris