Magazine article Work & Family Life

More People Living Alone, a Global Trend

Magazine article Work & Family Life

More People Living Alone, a Global Trend

Article excerpt

You may be surprised to hear that living alone encourages people to be more, not less, socially active. In fact, it even makes it easier, says New York University sociologist Eric Klinenberg, Ph.D., author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.

"Compared to their married counterparts," he says, "single people are more likely to spend time with friends and neighbors, go out to eat, and attend classes and lectures."

A new General Social Survey, based on a representative sample of the U.S. population, found that single people 35 and older were "more likely" than those who lived with a spouse or romantic partner to spend a social evening with neighbors or friends.

In his study on "The Social Connectedness of Older Adults," published in American Sociological Review, Cornell University sociolo- j gist Benjamin Cornwell, Ph.D. found that single seniors had as many friends and discussion partners as their married peers and were even more likely to socialize.

One explanation is that new media technologies have made living alone a more social experience. Being home alone does not feel involuntary or like solitary confinement. …

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