Why are so many Americans living by themselves?

Why are so many Americans living by themselves?

“The Disconnect”  by Nathan Heller April 16, 2012 – The New Yorker

Today, half of U.S. residents are single, and a third of all households have one occupant.

And yet the reputation of modern solitude is puzzling, because the traits enabling a solitary life—financial stability, spiritual autonomy, the wherewithal to buy more dishwashing detergent when the box runs out—are those our culture prizes. Plus, recent demographic shifts suggest that aloneness, far from fading out in our connected age, is on its way in. In 1950, four million people in this country lived alone. These days, there are almost eight times as many, thirty-one million. Americans are getting married later than ever (the average age of first marriage for men is twenty-eight), and bailing on domestic life with alacrity (half of modern unions are expected to end in divorce). Today, more than fifty per cent of U.S. residents are single, nearly a third of all households have just one resident, and five million adults younger than thirty-five live alone. This may or may not prove a useful thing to know on certain Saturday nights.          

Also read:

Capitalism and Loneliness: Why Pornography Is growing

December 29, 2011 – 8:27 pm – Guyanese Online Blog entry

Capitalism and Loneliness: Why Pornography Is a Multibillion-Dollar Industry Thursday 29 December 2011 by: Harriet Fraad and Tess Fraad Wolff, Truthout | Op-Ed – Massive social changes in the US labor force and in commerce have transformed the economy and powerfully affected personal relationships. Since 1970, we have changed from being a society of people […]

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On April 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

    The writer raises many issues that I have experienced and observed in Los Angeles.

    My greatest concern with the increase of solo-living is “The single life…frees the solitary from the sorts of daily interaction that help craft a sense of shared responsibility.” Under these conditions, it is very difficult to bring about the changes we need in our society at large.

  • alonegwen  On April 24, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    This article has elicited so many responses! Having lived alone, on and off, for the last 20 years, I can tell you that you can stay engaged in social issues. You just have to go out and volunteer or join with a group of like minded people. It can be done.

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