The U.S. has reported its highest percentage of solo home owners ever. With 28% of households being one person, singles are fast becoming an economic powerhouse. Around 30 million people, including 18 million women, have pursued single person homes, and these people are changing the way businesses sell to their consumers.
The New York Times interviewed NYU sociology professor Eric Klinenberg, author of “Going Solo: The Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone”, and some of his data was even more astounding than the national numbers. In London, Paris, and New York City, 50% of households are single persons. In Stockholm, Sweden, the number is closer to 60%. Living alone has become the ultimate luxury, and singles are sacrificing to do so, including incurring higher costs.
The economic results of these singles show the impact of their big spending habits. While the rise in single living has increased, the common opinion of many continues to view the more traditional “nuclear family” as the unit contributing most financially to society. They contribute $1.9 trillion annually to the economy, with each person spending about $34,000 per year. This is about $6,500 more than the average married couple, and $11,500 more than the highest-spending families with children. This group has engineered stability outside of the traditional family home, turning their friends into their ‘adopted families’. With this new social set up, however, comes more pressure to meet out, spending dollars in the marketplace versus staying at home.
The continued rise in solo home ownership will help our economy to recover overall, as well as aiding the housing market by providing more single buyers than ever before.