Single City Dwellers Are Often Happier, Healthier

Social scientists say New Yorkers defy that lonely stereotype
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Nov 24, 2008 2:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Our stereotype of the single, lonely urban dweller is all wrong. City folk who live alone often lead happier, healthier lives than married couples do in suburbia, Jennifer Senior writes in New York. “There was a time when living alone meant you were a hopeless shut-in," writes Senior, who was on her own until she was 37. "But you can’t say this if 50 percent of the households in Manhattan contain just one person.”

Cities, like the Internet, pull us together. “Solitaires have a permanent and ambient sense of the world beyond their living rooms and a fluid sense of when to join it and when to retreat,” Senior notes. Citing social scientists, she argues that loneliness is relative and weak ties to others are as important as strong ones. “We may on occasion curse our neighbors for playing music so loud it splits the floor. But living cheek-by-jowl is the necessary price we pay for our well-being.” (Read more New York City stories.)

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