Liechtenstein losing the equivalent of a McMansion

The Wall Street Journal notes how the small country of Liechtenstein just got a little smaller, about the size of a McMansion.

Last month, Liechtenstein’s government said it altered its official map, part of a move to a more precise, satellite-based surveying system. The result: Bits and pieces amounting to about a quarter of an acre disappeared.

The land, cumulatively big enough for a McMansion, didn’t abruptly leave anyone living in a new country. So locals viewed the tweak as little more than a curious result of advancing technology…

The lost territory, which only shows up on the most precise technical maps, might have singed national pride or prompted a call to arms in some places. Not in Liechtenstein, a country of roughly 37,000 people who relish their homeland’s diminutive stature the way Texans prize enormousness.

This could lead to some discussions of how more precise mapping leads to boundaries changes like this. But, the comparison to a McMansion is more interesting here. If you had to make a size comparison, why choose a McMansion? The article notes that land lost was about a quarter of an acre. This is about 11,000 square feet. Is the suggestion that this is a typical lot size for a McMansion? One definition of a McMansion is a big house squeezed into a small lot such that the house dominates the lot. Is a McMansion too big for this space? Or, is a quarter-acre lot enough space for some lawn and a McMansion? McMansions themselves aren’t typically 11,000 square feet.

Statistics for new homes in 2012, averaging 2,505 square feet, suggest the average new home was built on a 15,634 square foot lot. Perhaps the better comparison in this article might have been this: the amount of area lost by Liechtenstein was less roughly 66% of the size of an average new house lot in the United States.

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