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The Rise of People Living Alone Has Led to More Sustainable Cities

Single households tend to use more transit and live in multi-family homes.
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Whatever you want to call people living alone — some go with solos, others singletons — the fact is there's a lot more of them than there used to be. In 1950, solos accounted for about 9 percent of all U.S. households; today that figure is roughly 28 percent. As sociologist Eric Klinenberg points out in his 2012 book Going Solo, one in seven American adults now lives alone, and the trend toward solitary living is truly global:

Solos may settle down in all places, but the places they seem to prefer most are central cities. That's significant, says Devajyoti Deka of the Alan M. Voorhees Transport Centre at Rutgers, because when it comes to housing and travel preferences, solos tend to live more sustainable lifestyles. The more sustainable people move into cities, the more sustainable those cities are likely to become.