More Single Women Are Choosing To Live Alone

According to a new infographic from, having roommates is so 90′s. Despite the popularity of New Girl (a show about late 20-something/early 30 something roommates), 27% of American households are singles. This is an increase of 8% since 1950. So why is this happening? Well a big part of it is women’s liberation. We are able to support ourselves now and not have to count on marriage to get us out of our parent’s houses.

Women don’t need husbands in the way that they used to which could be a major factor as to why the number of single adults rose to 50%  in 2010, compared to 33% in 1950, according to census data. In her famous “All The Single Ladies” Atlantic article Kate Bolick writes, “according to the Pew Research Center, a full 44% of Millennials and 43%of Gen Xers think that marriage is becoming obsolete.”   We earn our own money now while 50 years ago, that really wasn’t possible. And we actually don’t even men to have children now with the amazing invention of IVF. But a lot of women of course do want to get married but they aren’t approaching it like generations before them did. Bolick talks about the fact that women don’t need to “marry up” like they used to. Now women are the “up.” Women may also be looking at men differently now because they don’t have to just think “Does this person have good reproductive potential?” Bolick wrote:

“Everywhere I turn, I see couples upending existing norms and power structures, whether it’s women choosing to be with much younger men, or men choosing to be with women more financially successful than they are (or both at once). “

Plus, both women and men are just getting married later in life these days, according to the graphic. The cities that see the most single residents include D.C., Manhattan and Atlanta. So when you see a young, single woman living alone, do not think she is lonely. She is actually liberated.

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    • Lastango

      “So when you see a young, single woman living alone, do not think she is lonely. She is actually liberated.”
      Well, the ones you’re talking about are in that “5 million Americans age 18 to 34″ group in the graph.
      But from this group eventually comes the “15 million age 35 to 64″ who are living alone. Somehow I don’t think that bunch is out high-fiving about their singlehouseholdhood. Then comes the 11 million age 65+ living alone, but that number didn’t make it into the cheery graph so I looked it up.
      I wonder what Lori Gottlieb would say.

    • The Satisfied Single

      I don’t think you can generalize about single women like that. Many single women have chosen to be single, but many more are single by circumstance. The sexual revolution and cultural shifts that have taken place over the past 50 years have created a culture in which many people don’t value commitment, and – I hope no one takes this the wrong way – sometimes women get the short end of the stick because of that.

      I also think you have to look at issues of class and race when talking about something like this. Indeed, many educated upper-middle-class women with decent incomes and good jobs may be choosing to live alone. But this is because they have the choice. Surveys have made it very clear that it is people in this demographic who tend to have options in terms of being able to marry, if they so choose. However, women who are not in these classes, or who are of different races, are often not in as privileged a position. For these women, options may be significantly restricted due to the lack of appropriate and interested partners, the lack of disposable income which would allow for increased choices in lifestyle options, and basically the lack of the wherewithal to even make singlehood a choice. And, frankly, this experience, not the experience of privileged upper-middle-class white women, is the norm.

      At the end of the day, I think the question is not whether or not you chose singlehood, because there’s not much you can do about that. I think the question becomes what you choose to do with your single life. There is no question, in my personal opinion, that I as a woman need a man. That’s simply a fact. I’m just not quite whole, not quite right, without a partner. I have to accept the presence of a void in my life where a healthy, mature, loving relationship should be. However, contrary to what some people seem to believe, it is the size and prominence of this void that is up for debate in my opinion. Although it has taken a lot of personal growth to get to this point, my void is more like a small pet that I walk with everywhere now, rather than a gaping sucking wound threatening to consume me. It’s there, and I’m aware of it, and sometimes it needs tending to, but mostly it’s just a small nuisance, a companion on the road of my life.

      At this point in my life, I am focused on living the best life I can and following my passions, desires, lusts and dreams, wherever they can take me. I believe the key to being happy as a single woman is finding passion outside of the context of a relationship, and this is what I have done. I indulge every passion and urge I have (within reason!), whether it be to eat a cake pop from Starbucks every day for a month or to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and this keeps me inspired, passionate, and in love with my life. I might even say, in lust with my life. Being single doesn’t hurt so much when you’re so fired up about life.

      The Satisfied Single