Lonely America: More Americans Are Living Alone Than Ever Before
By Michael Snyder/Economic Collapse BlogJuly 14, 2023
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Once upon a time, it was fairly rare to find someone that was living by themselves in America. But now that has completely changed. Americans are getting married later in life, couples are having fewer children, divorce is rampant, and millions of broken families litter our national landscape.
As a result, the traditional family unit in the United States is weaker than it has ever been before. And that is extremely unfortunate, because the family is a fundamental support system in any society. Without strong families, no society is going to thrive for long.
I knew that the percentage of single person households was rising, but this week I was stunned to learn that it has now reached almost 30 percent in the United States...
Nearly 30 percent of American households comprise a single person, a record high.
Scholars say living alone is not a trend so much as a transformation: Across much of the world, large numbers of people are living alone for the first time in recorded history.
This greatly contributes to the epidemics of loneliness and depression that we are witnessing.
Humans were designed to love and be loved, but today so many of us feel so isolated.
But it wasn't always this way. In fact, only 8 percent of all households in the U.S. were made up of a single person in 1940...
The U.S. Census shows that "solitaries" made up 8 percent of all households in 1940. The share of solo households doubled to 18 percent in 1970 and more than tripled, to an estimated 29 percent, by 2022.
This is another instance where the trend is not our friend, and we are being told that there are a lot of reasons why we have seen such a dramatic shift...
The solo-living movement intersects with several other societal trends. Americans are marrying later, if at all. The nation is aging. The national birthrate is falling. People are living longer -- or they were, until the pandemic arrived.
More than anything, perhaps, the rise of single-person households is about women entering the workforce and achieving economic self-sufficiency.
In previous generations, multi-person households were often an economic necessity.
But thanks to the affluence that we have enjoyed in recent decades, more Americans now have the option of living alone.
And it shouldn't surprise any of us that single person households are particularly common in some of our largest cities...
Living alone is much more common in large cities. Singles now make up more than 40% of households in Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Denver, according to a paper by the British historian Keith Snell. Half of Manhattan apartments are one-person residences.
Ultimately, what we are witnessing comes down to a fundamental shift in our culture more than anything else.
Previous generations of Americans valued family much more highly than we do, and we value ourselves much more highly than they did.
In other words, we have become exceedingly selfish.
For example, just consider the reasons why one female author says that living alone can be "a dream come true"...
According to Bella DePaulo, author of the upcoming book "Single at Heart": "Living alone can be a dream come true. You get to curate your own life. You decide when to go to sleep and when to get up, what and when to eat, what to watch or to listen to for entertainment, and how warm or cool your place will be."
Having some time to yourself can be nice for a few hours.
But how empty are you going to feel after you have nobody to share your life with year after year?
In addition to training our young people to be selfish, we have also trained them to think of children as "burdens" that should be avoided if you want to enjoy life.
Earlier today, I came across an article about a man that had a vasectomy at 34 years of age just so that he and his wife can be free to do whatever they want...
A young couple are child-free so they can be 'selfish', take naps and go on holiday whenever they want - and are so sure they don't want kids they use extreme birth control.
Indi, 25, and her husband Heraldo Uribe, 34, are intentionally child-free and consider themselves as DINKS - which stands for 'dual income no kids'.
I am sure that might be fun for a while.
But they will never get to see their kids grow up.
And they will never have grandchildren.
And there will never be any family reunions when they get older.
And there won't be anyone to take care of them when they are near the end of their lives.
On a broader level, how are we going to maintain our Social Security system now that our birth rate has been way below replacement level for many years?
We aren't even producing enough babies to replace ourselves, and so there simply is not going to be enough people paying into the system to support our rapidly aging population.
Thankfully, some young people are waking up and realizing that marriage and family should be a priority.
In fact, one woman is actually offering $5,000 if you can find the right man for her to marry...
In a viral video, which has so far amassed over 556,000 views, she revealed that she had previously made this deal with her friends, and her boss, but was now ready to open it up to the 'general public.'
She said: 'So the offer is if you introduce me to my husband and I marry him, I will give you $5,000 dollars.
'I don't have to stay married to him for long, I can get divorced from him in 20 years, it doesn't matter, but if you introduce to me a man that I walk down the aisle and get married to, I will give you $5,000.'
Of course she isn't going to marry just anyone.
She has some pretty stringent requirements for her future spouse, and that includes being at least six feet tall...
She noted that she wanted her future husband to be between the ages of 27 and 40, like sports, be a good communicator, be at least six-foot, and have good wit, banter, and the ability to poke fun at her.
The 34-year-old also noted that she doesn't want the man she marries to do any drugs, adding that she has no preference on where they live or what their political or religious stances are.
While it is good to haver certain ideals, love can often arrive in an unexpected package.
And we all need to remember that marriage and family are absolutely critical to the overall success of our society.
Unfortunately, more Americans than ever are rejecting traditional values, and so we are steamrolling down a road that doesn't lead anywhere good.
Living to please ourselves may seem gratifying for a while, but in the end it leads to great emptiness.
On the other hand, loving others often involves great sacrifice, but in the end it can lead to great fulfillment.