Albany’s Business Journal website posted a report on August 21, 2013 that revealed interesting details regarding the self-storage industry. While self-storage doesn’t get as much publicity as other more “interesting” businesses, recent exposure on certain reality TV shows has certainly boosted the industry’s popularity. Whether it’s thanks to shows like Storage Wars or because more Americans need more space to keep their stuff in, the fact is that the self-storage industry is becoming bigger than ever.

Cities like Manhattan, where the population density is bursting at its seams, could really use storage spaces, regardless of all the hype. Never mind that everyone and his uncle wants a storage unit because of the influence of some reality stars; self-storage is a useful thing to have when your home simply has no more room for your precious belongings or even junk. Manhattan storage units, like those offered by Gibraltar Self Storage, luckily aren’t too hard to find in such crowded metropolitan areas.

The article unveils facts about the storage industry that both retailers and consumers alike may find interesting. All of the figures were derived from a survey by the Self Storage Association. For instance, in the year 1984, there were only about 6,601 storage facilities in America, but by the end of 2012, this number had grown more than seven times to 48,500. With an overall growth of 634% within 28 years, one can say that the storage industry is indeed doing quite well despite challenging economic times.

Figures compiled by the Business Journal were then put into perspective to show readers the sheer magnitude of the storage industry. Storage units in America are now triple the number of Starbucks branches in the country, and more than the number of McDonald’s and Subway (considered the no. 1 fast food brand in America) franchises combined. During the first quarter of 2013, 85.3 percent of all storage units were occupied, while about nine percent of all Americans owned a storage unit.

The article also points out that with about 7.3 square feet of self-storage space per American, it is possible to fit everyone inside the nation’s storage units. While that thought might seem rather ludicrous, if you think about it, that much space can be maximized to reduce clutter in every home. Self storage units can potentially rid the country of space shortage problems.

With 2.3 billion square feet of rentable storage space in the U.S., it would indeed be a horrible waste not to maximize such a resource. Who would’ve thought that there would be hidden depths locked away within the storage space industry?