Tiny House Infographic

So it has been a long haul on this project, but it all started with a simple question: “How do tiny house people compare to the average American?” It happened quite innocently over burgers and fries at a local dinner. The question sparked an idea to have a tiny house survey. 120,000 data points later we crunched the numbers, and led a campaign to raise the money to make this graphic. The graphic took several hundred hours to create and we hope you enjoy.

Click image to see it larger

Tiny House infographic

  1. This is great info; I wonder if this was taken to local zoning/housing authorities they might relent on some of their requirements. This is a movement that the government needs to take heed of

  2. Awesome job Ryan! If only happiness could be measured accurately; I imagine the Tiny Home dweller would have the edge there as well.

  3. I love my Tiny house. I feel blessed.

    And No, I don’t have a mortgage, or credit cards (and won’t get any).

  4. I LOVE tiny houses. It’s the way I know that I’ll be able to retire one day and not have to have a million dollars in the bank. I love the freedom from worry and the increased ability to do what I want because life isn’t overwhelmed with having an expensive house.

    I owned an antique house for 4 years. $80,000 in repairs in 4 years and then I had to sell it. Lost my investment and still had to pay taxes on it. Never again.

    Thank god for tiny houses.

  5. Great information and great graphic to make the data easily understood. You say it includes 70,000 data points; how many households responded? Thanks for sharing!

  6. Nice graphic. The comments are interesting!

  7. Look, I am all for tiny houses. But I think your infographic leaves a few unanswered question or maybe just doesn’t tell the whole story. Like, what percentage of tiny home owners live by themselves or with only one other person in that tiny home? Or What percentage of tiny home owners are couples with one or more young children living in that tiny home with them? How about, what percentage of tiny home owners own the land for which that tiny home sits on? What is the resale value of a tiny home? Tiny homes are great. But they are not the answer to all problems for all people which is the way that infographic reads to me.

    • I don’t see any reference to tiny houses being “the answer to all problems for all people” – and I can’t imagine anyone making that claim? Of course tiny houses aren’t right for everyone!

      That said, tiny houses are a VERY viable solution for the people who like them. And there are some big benefits to living in one.

      Infographics aren’t generally meant to tell the whole story. But they can give a quick visual overview of something – and on that level, I think this one succeeds.

    • Well you bring up some valid questions but you make your final judgment before you even get the answers.

  8. Turned out completely awesome!

  9. I woke up this morning thinking I might be making a big mistake…my house is about to close on the sale…I’m buying property on an island and planning on live in a “tiny” vintage trailer with 2 cats and a dog while I proceed into the jungle of building my own small house. ..oh and I’m in your bucket of over 50 year olds and female. Your information makes me feel that I am on the right track…I will own the land and the house I’m building. I will not have to have a huge house to spend my time taking care of, nor paying for in electric/insurance/ and mortgage payments. I began this journey two years ago reading all the books i could get my hands on…attending workshops with Tiny Homes and now I’m ready to jump! It’s all good! I hope others do it…thank you for your efforts.

    • Congratulations on your decision to go smaller! I’m female,over 50 also, and would love to pull it all together and downsize in the near future. Good luck!!!

  10. Hi,

    I’m intrigued by tiny houses, but I’m concerned about where I’d be able to take my tiny house. I mean, these structures aren’t traditional houses but they’re also not mobile homes or camper trailers either. They’re sort-of in this gray area. I do some travelling with work. Do they allow the tiny houses at camp grounds? Also, for the rest of the time aside from purchasing land to park it on, I’m concerned that many neighborhoods wouldn’t allow my tiny house.

    Do you have any information about this?


    ~ Hannah 🙂

    • If you have the right vehicle you can pull your tiny house without any problems I recommend a 3/4 ton truck, this is Lloyd I own Mississippi Tiny House I have two of them for sale right now on eBay. You can see them under tiny house on wheels, if you are interested. Both of them are 100% towable and are set up for camping. Yes most campgrounds will welcome a tiny house.

  11. Uh I’m not sure that these financial figures are showing the effects instead of the causes. By this profile most tiny house owners seems to be well-educated middle-class folks, who have the knowledge and means to buy/build these houses compared to a lot of working class people who don’t even know these housing options exist.

  12. Totally rad graphic! We just completed construction on our very own tiny-house and are thrilled to be heading down the “small-living” path! I look forward to sharing your graphic with people as it does a great job depicting some of the main motivations for our decision 🙂

    • We have a bunch printed that we are sell, check it out here: https://www.thetinylife.com/store/

  13. I don’t understand the differenct between the first and third point: mortgage and “a home you own.” What is the difference?

    • It’s the difference between home ownership and having a mortgage. You can own a home, the difference is you either have a mortgage or not on that home.

  14. This may come across as judgmental but I’ve seen doing home care a lot of these people I take care of hold on to a lot of “stuff” the sad thing is they believe in world economic system crash there going to sell there stuff…truth is there stuff isn’t worth what they believe it is.
    I’m slowly down sizing and have no desire for a bigger place. My home is 1200 square feet up and there 1200 square feet in basement.
    Coffee is on

  15. I love the whole tiny house idea. I would like to see how many people with kids are actually getting involved in this. So far I came across two couples with children. Because I have 2 children and so do many other people who may see this I think it would be inspiring to see families doing this. A house on wheels may not work for a family of four but a small house can.

    • We’re a husband and wife with three kids, and we’re finishing up with building our 630 square foot 2B1B “tiny house”. It’s over 500 square feet, so technically it’s not “tiny” (Tiny House is “officially defined” as being under 500 sq ft), but it’s definitely tiny compared to normal houses these days =)

      The walls are up and surprisingly it’s pretty spacious… Each room is about 126 square feet, then the rest is split between the living room, kitchen, bathroom and a closet for a stackable washer/dryer.

      It’s on 5 acres of land, and the goal of living “tiny” is to spend more time outside, living healthier, creating memories, etc… Not staying indoors watching tv.

      You should definitely do it =)

  16. If I could afford one, and had a place to put it, a Tiny House would be my final move. I love the concept, I love the floor plans, and I would love to spend my days in a place that is easy for me to maintain.

    Sadly, some of us older disabled folks just can’t make it all work. Darnit.

  17. If I & my wife could do something like This is a sure way to down size from owning a real home with no mortgage bank hounding you for the mortgage payment. So I can retirement would be easier life style not paying out a lot of money were I also could save some real money.
    I would like to find out more information about renting one so see if we had it in us too move in something smaller, I know with prices of home going out of control these day owning a dream is gone from the American dream.

    • I’m 53 and I’m just getting over cancer 6months remission and I’ve been wanting to go to a tiny home for a few years now, I just need to see coat with all appliances & washer & dryer combo or stackable and a loft so I just want to look and find out what I can get with my money, not working with much I wish I had a few good ppl to build and do electrical and plumbing as well and that would save money instead of paying others to do it for me ! I’m a single lady and would love to have some one with me I want a fireplace also that’s why I wish I had some one to help with the cost and that way it would be cheaper for both of us

  18. Cost difference is deceiving though. Buying a house includes land. Aside from squatting, tiny house owners need to pay rental or land mortgage.

    Land is a very important component.

    Then there’s the issue of legalities of what can and cannot be built or parked on the land in its given location.

    Load on a trailer category skirts some legalities, but then you cannot get fully insured to cover the house. RV certification allows insurance coverage, but then you are dealing with the city or county and your RV labeled tiny house on wheels. Not to mention some places and insurances not allowing full time living in an RV.

  19. Thanks for the graphic. I just featured it, and your blog on an article about why aren’t more single men building tiny houses?

  20. Hi-

    I’m not clear on whether these houses have water and sewer hookups. Thank you for any info.

    • Hi Cynthia,
      I’m sure by now you have found the answers to your question, but for others who don’t know – most of these are custom built. Many are built by their owners – most of whom have no construction experience. Most THOW (Tiny House On Wheels) have plumbing and electrical that will work on grid (that is: connected to city water, sewer, electric, etc.) and some have RV type of utilities as well – such as solar or electric generator. Some have both (like many RV’s).
      Since they are custom built they can be setup any way the owner wants.

  21. I am very interested in a tiny house when I retire in 5 years.

    I think I would be OK living this way. But, need to be as certain as I possibly can.

    Are there any rentals available? I would like to stay in it a night or two to learn what the possible pitfalls may be.

    Does anyone know of any THOW rentals?


  22. Tiny Houses are not new inventions. Our McMansions just kept getting bigger and bigger. Look back at the average size on a house 50, 60 or 100 years ago. Actually most of the world already lives in tiny houses. Smaller living spaces totally make sense to me.

  23. Can you buy plans if so where

  24. Hi, Ryan! How many tiny home owners took this survey?

  25. Excellent post! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website.
    Keep up the good writing.

    • Cool graphic. To repeat some others above: Does anyone know how many people were surveyed or what the raw data looked like for these stats?

  26. Hello,

    Was wondering if I am allowed to build a tiny home on my existing Springwater Ontario township property. I have my home on this 1 acre and 2 outbuildings. I would remove 1 outbuilding to put a tiny home on this same area if able.

    I can’t seem to find out if this is legal or not in my area.

    Thank you.

  27. Love this

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