12 Must-Know Self Storage Industry Statistics for 2018

While most major cities today have at least one self-storage facility available, it's a relatively new industry. As humans have continued to consume more, they have also needed more space to store their belongings.

Self-storage operations trace their roots back to England when British citizens would safeguard their valuables in the banks before long voyages. Overcrowded vaults led to the need for larger storage facilities - usually warehouses. As warehouses prices rose, storage facility owners were forced to look into more economical solutions. [Source: SSA]

The first self-storage facility, as we know them today, was established in Texas in the mid-1960's and rented space at .15 cents per square foot/month. It was so successful that the concept quickly spread across the U.S. and Canada — and the rest is history.


  • The typical size of a storage unit facility is 2.5 to 5 acres, with 46,000sf of rentable space on average. Facility sizes range from 10,000 to 100,000+ square feet. [Source: SSA]
  • The total amount of self-storage space in the US totals 2,300,000,000 sqft. [Source: Statistic Brain]
  • There are 48,500 storage units in the United States.
    • There are more self-storage facilities in the U.S. than McDonald's and Starbucks locations combined. [Source: Huffington Post]

Market Size

  • The annual self storage revenue in the United States is $36,000,000,000. [Source: SSA]
    • That is twice as much revenue as the Global Music Industry (15.7 billion). [Source: IFPI]
    • That amount could buy 360 flights into space with Space Adventures at $100M per seat. [Source: Space.com]
  • 172,000 people are employed by storage unit companies in the United States. [Source: Statistic Brain]
    • 0.05% of the population is employed by the self storage industry.
  • 8.96% of U.S. households currently rent a self-storage unit. [Source: Statistic Brain]
  • The average price of a storage unit at auction is $425 with about 155,000 sold annually. [Source: Statistic Brain]
    • $65,875,000 of storage units are auctioned annually.
  • 67% of self storage renters live in single-family homes — only 27% live in apartments. Most of these renters live in single family homes which have a garage and 33% also have a basement in their home. [Source: SSA]. They still need the extra room a storage unit provides.
  • The majority of self storage customers rent long term, with 52% of those surveyed reporting that they rented their storage unit for one year or more. Only about 13% of customers rented storage for less than three months. [Source: SSA]
  • People in the military utilize self-storage often since towns with a large military presence usually have anywhere from 20 to 95% of rented units occupied by military personnel. Nationwide the number is only 6%. [Source: SSA]

Comparison of Storage Markets

  • The markets with the most storage units being built are: [Source: Self-Storage Performance Quarterly]
    • New York
    • Denver-Aurora
    • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach
    • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale
    • Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord
  • The most expensive markets to rent a 10x10 storage unit in are: [Source: Self-Storage Performance Quarterly]
    • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont: $160/m
    • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana: $153/m
    • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara: $153/m
    • New York-Newark-Edison: $137/m
    • San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA: $136/m

Find your spot.