Loner Living – Solitude Is Bliss

This blog post is part of a series highlighting Euromonitor International’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends of 2019 report.

One generation is redefining the trend of living alone—older generations. Globally, the number of single-person households will outpace the growth of all other household sizes. People across the world are bucking the stigma of living alone and embracing their independent lifestyles and enjoying “Loner Living.”

This cohort of single later lifers (typically 50+) is typically wealthier and, while some have been single their whole lives, many are divorced or widowed and may have adult-age children. While baby boomers may have been well known for the high rate of divorce among their cohort, many of those in the younger generations have rejected marriage and even cohabitation altogether.

Not tying the knot

Baby boomers already exhibited unprecedented levels of divorce in their younger years, and many of the recent divorces among this generation involve second or third marriages. High divorce rates worldwide have always been a major indicator for single living, but an increasing number of individuals are deciding against marriage altogether.

By 2030, it is estimated that the number of single-person households will increase by about 120 million, up about 30% on 2018. Younger people are delaying or eschewing marriage to focus on their careers instead or to indulge in personal development, education or travel. Wider prevalence of single living, especially for those who are in or past their prime to start families, is etching away at the stigmatisation of living alone in later years and supports the hypothesis that choosing up about alone can lead to a healthier and more fulfilled life.

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Loner Living consumers are sensible and proud

Loner Living consumers are less willing to pay for products that are considered ‘durable’, ‘high quality’, ‘on-trend’ or ‘natural’. Convenience and affordability are at the top of their minds. In fact, consumers living alone are more likely to prioritise financial security; bearing the full cost of housing and utilities not only alters their overall budget but the consumption choices they make. Products and services that help these consumers celebrate their proudly independent lifestyles will succeed in capturing this growing market segment.

Companies may continue to ignore single households because they believe that they are diverse individuals within larger groups, but the emergence of solo Loner Living consumers is changing that calculus. These consumers are more budget-conscious, perhaps given the disproportionate share of earnings they must allocate to housing. Increasingly, people are giving up the idea of finding lifelong companionship. Brands have a long way to go to partner with them as they develop their independent lifestyles.

To learn more about this trend, download Euromonitor International’s “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends of 2019” report.