A recent study reported on trinitynewsdaily.com has revealed that an increasing number of younger American adults have been choosing to live alone rather than pairing off since the economic crisis began ten years ago.
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Growth in Americans Living Alone
The report by the Pew Research Center found that of all American adults, 42% now do not live with a partner or marital spouse. The figures get even more surprising when looking at younger adults. Of those under 35, 61% are living alone or in other domestic situations that don’t include a spouse or romantic partner (such as having roommates or living with parents).
This is a 5% increase compared with 2007, prior to the recession.
The Economy and Young Adult Americans Choosing to Live Alone
While other cultural factors have changed too, analysts suspect that the main reason for young American adults postponing marriage and starting a family is to do with the economic pressures we have been left with since the economic problems started a decade ago.
With less job security and employment opportunities, this research suggests that people under 35 no longer feel as driven to form partnerships and get married as before. People who are concerned about being able to support a family or a partner (especially a pregnant spouse or stay at home wife or husband) may be putting off this stage of life until a later time when they feel more secure.
Other Factors in Americans Putting Off Settling Down
Of course, the economy has been recovering somewhat and the financial disasters of 2007 are ten years behind us, meaning that while we do still have a lot of issues affecting younger adults such as student debt, the employment market isn’t as bad as it was, and people are beginning to get back into a state of feeling more financially secure.
This means that economics may not be the only factor in 61% of younger people choosing to live alone. Changes in how we meet people and the options available for dating may also be a factor.
Thanks to things like OKCupid and Tinder, it is now easier than ever to meet people, for both casual and serious relationships, so it is possible that this generation of younger Americans are happy to get their company and other needs met by more casual encounters without the pressures of a relationship, knowing that when they do feel the time is right to find a long-term partner, it is not too difficult to meet compatible people.
The easy availability of social interaction and dating may also mean that this generation has higher expectations, and is not willing to settle for someone who doesn’t check all their boxes, as it is easy enough to simply move on to the next potential match.
Whatever the reasons, the fact people in their twenties and early thirties are choosing not to settle down will have some interesting effects on our social structure.