Aarian Marshall is a transportation reporter at WIRED and former CityLab contributor. She lives in San Francisco.
A new and vital analysis from the real estate company Redfin ranks U.S. cities by toilet availability.
Today in important, data-driven journalism: A new analysis by the real estate brokerage firm Redfin has ranked American cities by toilets per capita, and it appears that a number of U.S. metros are flush with porcelain thrones. King among them? Boulder, Colorado, where there are 102 residential toilets per 100 people. As Redfin puts it, "if you’re home shopping in Boulder and can’t find a three-bedroom home with three bathrooms, you’re doing something wrong."
Redfin's Top 10 list shows that the country's houses are truly chock-full of toilets. Washington, D.C., may be the number two place to go number two, but it still has 98 toilets per 100 people.
|Total toilets||Gallons flushed
|West Palm Beach, FL||93||1,257,800||22,011,500|
Consumers appear to be driving the toilet trend, with some homebuyers even demanding one per resident. "I don’t know when it took place, but having a master bathroom off the main bedroom is now seen as a requirement, whereas years ago, it was considered a luxury," says D.C.-based Redfin agent Leslie White. "I've toured lovely 100-year-old rowhouses, but if there’s only one bathroom for the three bedrooms on the top floor, my clients’ faces fall. They need that extra bathroom.”
As our own Richard Florida has pointed out, the size of the average U.S. single-family home has steadily increased since the 1970s, even as the number of people per household has fallen. That means more bedrooms, more media rooms—and certainly, more bathrooms. But as some cities pivot towards luxury housing stock, real estate experts say condos are ascendant. Hold onto that second-place trophy, D.C.—your embrace of high-priced high-rises may be your downfall on the commode circuit.
While this ranking may be very exciting for toilet makers, Redfin points out that toilets have a real environmental impact. Their analysis estimates that toilet champion Boulder flushes about eight Olympic-sized pools' worth of water each day. What a load of... stuff.