What will the climb in one-person households mean for our future?

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The better your market is at supplying affordable housing for older Americans who want to continue living alone, the better your chances of helping them keep their independence.

That’s one conclusion you could draw after reading a blog titled “The Rise of the Single-Person Household,” by George Masnick, Senior Research Fellow for Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Masnick says that in general, the market has responded well to the changing housing needs of Americans. But the exception has been the supply of smaller, accessible, affordable single-family residences for older citizens. He cites many factors that have worked against that.

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Masnick uses a variety of resources to give meaning to statistics about single-person households, such as:

  • 100 years ago, less than 6 percent of U.S. households included only one person;
  • In 2013, 28 percent of U.S. households had one person;
  • In 2013, 54 percent of single-person households were women;
  • In 1940, 61 percent of single-person households were renters;
  • In 2013, two-thirds of single-person households under the age of 45 were renters; and
  • In 2013, a strong majority of single-person households over age 64 owned their homes.

Get more from the full blog post.

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