In economic terms, we can say that couples were converted into singles. This means that more and more people are looking for single-person households. Nowadays, The United States features more single-person apartments and houses than ever before. This situation has a major impact on the economy. The truth is that families with children spend less per person as compared to a solo dweller. Below, you can see how this situation is possible.
The media has analyzed all the facets of this strange case, starting from habits that these solo dwellers have and continuing with how this state of affairs influences the economy. The main questions are whether or not the population is mainly formed of singletons and how are these persons affecting the country’s economy.
Eric Klinenberg, a sociology professor has declared that only the persons who can afford to live alone can do it. A recent report has revealed that 28% of American properties accommodate only one person. This percentage is extremely high and it means that 30 million individuals are living alone. Only 12 million of them are men, the majority of them are women. In New York, Paris and London, 50% of properties house only one individual. In Stockholm, this percentage is 60%. That’s why the American marriages have hit the lowest record: 51%.
More and more people are choosing to marry later, and until then they rely on their parent’s money. Additionally, they have children when they are older. For this reason they don’t need a large home to reside in. Moreover, the job itself forces individuals to live alone. People are working almost 50 hours weekly and have no time for anything else. So, when they get home, they just want to be alone and relax. People choose to live alone. Many of them say that they would want to move in with their partner, but in fact no one wants to compromise the single lifestyle.
The major economic impact of those who live alone is that they spend the wealth, while married couples build it. In 2010, they have spent $35,000 per individual and have increased the economy with $1.9 trillion. Families with children spend $11,000 less than a singleton and married people with no children spend $6,000 less than a single person. Furthermore, 1/3 of the homes are bought by singles.
They spend that much because of the “urban tribes”. Ethan Watters, a journalist, says that these are groups of singles that act like a family structure. Despite the common belief, singles are not lonely. In fact, they complain of over-socialization and of not having time to meet all their commitments. They spend that much that they are the main target for big corporations. Car companies, home-improvement retailers and real estate firms are courting single persons and they build all their products for them. Alcohol and food retailers are focusing on groups of friends. Additionally, Ikea has reported that they sell increasingly more pieces for small apartments and Nestle said that almost 91% of customers eat Lean Cuisine meals alone.