In 1970, roughly one in every six Americans lived alone. That number now stands at slightly more than every one in four, according to a new Census Bureau report out yesterday. Some 27.5% of American households are solo households, reports USA Today, which notes that the figure stood at 5.1% in 1900 and 17% in 1970. Researchers are in part blaming the rise on the habits of the young, who are waiting longer to get married, thereby extending the years of bachelor/bachelorette living. To wit, 71% of households were married in 1970; last year, 49% were.
Reason No. 2 has to do with the elderly: They're living longer and they're healthier, allowing them to spend more years in their own home, rather than with a family member or in an adult-care facility. If you're thinking, "the economy stinks, shouldn't people be bunking up?" you're not, well, alone. The Los Angeles Times notes that the increase "might seem puzzling in light of the recession and its enduring effects." To that end, it shares a Pew report that found there was indeed a slight dip in the percentage of people ages 18 to 31 living alone (from 8% in 2007 to 7% in 2012).