A significant trend in the EU and North America that is receiving little attention in the media is the rise of single person households. We look at the numbers here. The consequences of these trends on our daily lives and well-being are not yet fully understood but will have significant impact on our changing values and family structures, human services, and policy making decisions.
Eurostat – the statistical office of the European Union (EU) observed a rising proportion of single person households. The latest EU household size statistics show that in 2017 some 34% of European households consist of single adults with no children. That’s a 3% increase from 2010 for most European nations but for some countries like Latvia the rise was especially significant with single person households increasing from 25% in 2010 to 35% in 2017.
Eurostat figures also show that this proportion varies across EU Member States with Malta registering the lowest proportion of single person households (< 20%), followed by Portugal and Slovakia at 22% while Sweden tops the list of single adults without children followed by Denmark at 44% and Lithuania at 43% to 42% in Finland and Germany.
Single person households also on the rise in Canada and the U.S.A.
Similar trends were registered for one-person households in Canada from 2011 (27.6%) to 2016 (28.2%). Statscan reports a .6% increase of single adults without children from 2011 to 2016. The proportion of single person households has been steadily rising in Canada from 7.4% in 1951 to 13.4% in 1971, and 20.3% in 1981 to 25.7% in 2001. The percentage of single person households reached a historical high since confederation in 1867, says another statscan report.
The United States of America (USA) also experienced a substantial growth in percentage of one-person households from 7.7% in 1940 to 27.5% in 2011, says the Business Insider. That growth peaked in 1988 and from 1988 to 2011, the percentage of single-person households increased but an average of 3.5% per year.
Ihor Cap is a web author and father of two wonderful children.