Households in 2030: Rise of the Singletons
Single-person households will become a major consumption group
Households populated by one person are skyrocketing around the world. Over 2016–2030, single-person households will see faster growth than any other household type globally, with around 120 million new single person homes to be added over the period. This demographic is being driven by younger singles exchanging relationships for careers and education, as well as the growing widowed and divorced elderly group, especially large in developed countries.
Global Households by Family Type, 2016–2030
By contrast, households with three or more persons are growing slowly. This is a reflection of the declining birth and fertility rates globally, with couples choosing to have fewer children. As markets develop, there is also a lesser need for extended family to occupy the same household, especially as carehomes are used more often to care for the elderly.
What is driving single-person households?
Education and career
Young people are focusing on their personal self-development, prioritising academic and career pursuits. Females, in particular, have more educational and work opportunities than ever before, and many are delaying having serious relationships and kids.
Single is fun
The rise in technology, cheap travel and general entertainment means that today’s generations have more choice in how they spend their free time than their parents ever did. There are therefore fewer incentives to get tied down by familial responsibilities, with a singleton lifestyle offering more carefree fun.
For the elderly, being single is not a choice. As life expectancy rises and the number of elderly people swells, there is a growing number of widowed, divorced or otherwise single homes populated by persons aged 65+. This is accelerating as the extended family unit is being broken up.
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