There is a lot of talk about overpopulation. So much so, that the most populous country on earth has actually limited reproduction for more than three decades. Well, in America, where capitalism reigns free, there’s one kind of reproduction (or construction) that seems to have no limit.
Take a guess.
Here’s the equation. Growth industry + capitalism + consumerism + America.
We know. That equation could have a thousand outcomes. You may be thinking electronics. Perhaps energy. The stylistically-minded could be thinking fashion. And, you’d be correct. With the population growth, those areas have grown. But we’re talking about growth in an industry that’s only been around since the 1960s.
And the winner is (drumroll): self-storage. Yes, the typically garage-style spaces that hold your old couches, my family heirlooms, and uncle George’s car collection (at least temporarily, until we all figure out what to do with that stuff).
So just how much stuff do we have? How much storage could possibly be needed?
According to the Self Storage Association, as of 2013, there were 2.3 billion square feet of storage in the U.S. 2.3 billion, with a “B.” Bigger than a million. Smaller than a trillion.
On occasion, there are numbers so large that they are virtually incomprehensible in day-to-day terms. So, let’s put this into perspective.
Here in these United States of America, we have this little city called “New York.” In this little city, there is an island called Manhattan. It would take more than three Manhattans in size, to equal the the amount of storage we have.
Maybe Manhattan isn’t your cup-of-tea. Maybe it doesn’t speak to you. Let’s look at the Mall of America. Sizing-in at a whopping 4.87 million square feet, it would take 472 Malls of America to equal our space of self-storage.
And, for those of you who despise cities and shopping (first off, you’ve got problems), we’ll throw you a bone. You’ve got to be sports fans. The 2.3 billion square feet of storage is equal to 39,930 football fields.
Moral of this story: as some run out of resources or room (or both) for humans, America proudly has plenty of both, for stuff.