U.S. Housing Stock Not Prepared for the Rise of Singles

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More than a quarter of households in the U.S. now consist of one person living alone

April 21, 2015
U.S. Housing Stock Not Prepared for the Rise of Singles

The number of singles living alone in the U.S. keeps rising, but the housing stock isn’t prepared for it, writes urban policy columnist Emily Badger for the Washington Post.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that more than a quarter of households in the U.S. now contain one person living alone, compared to 7 percent in 1940.

“Our housing stock wasn’t built for a society full of singles. Our communities instead are full of homes meant for the traditional nuclear family,” Badger writes.

The problem is particularly prevalent in big cities. A report by the NYU Furman Center says that in New York, Austin, and Denver, nearly 57 percent of adults were single in 2010. In Washington D.C., that figure is 71 percent, though the data does not distinguish between singles that live alone or share a home, either with relatives or non-related adults.

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