Trends in Single-person Households

December 2018

Single-person households are the fastest-growing household type worldwide. This demographic is already reshaping segments like real estate and healthcare, and will be ever-more influential on products and brands by 2030. The Trends in Single-Person Households report will highlight the ongoing evolution of singleton homes, their impact on trends, and case studies demonstrating how brands and governments are adapting to changing home demographics.

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Why are single-person homes on the rise?

Wealth and education

Rising incomes and better education are enabling more household heads to live by themselves.

Therefore, advanced economies tend to have the largest single-person home markets, as there is no cultural or economic pressure to have kids or rely on family members to survive.


The surge in technology, cheap travel, and general entertainment means that Millennials have more choice in how they spend their free time than their parents ever did.

The gradual erosion of social welfare means that there are fewer incentives to start a family or marry than ever before.


Household heads aged 65+ are the largest and fastest-growing cohort by age globally.

As life expectancy rises and the number of elderly people swells, there is a growing number of widowed, divorced or otherwise single homes populated by persons aged 65+.

Low-income workers

Many low-income workers from emerging markets migrate to urban areas or foreign countries, in order to find better paid work.

They do this typically by themselves, leaving their family behind to accept remittances. This creates a large cohort of singleton workers.

Fewer children

Households in general are having fewer children and many are choosing to forego parenting altogether, due to personal or financial reasons.

Couples without children are often happy to live separately, particularly in urban areas. Communal living is no longer a prerequisite.


Divorces are on the rise worldwide, due to shifts in gender equality and easier administrative processes.

Separated couples and families are thus creating more singleton households, even if on a temporary basis.

The global evolution of single-person homes
China has the world’s largest market of singletons
Why are single-person homes on the rise?
Japan’s IoT for seniors: preparing for an ageing society
Singleton homes have lower penetration rates of devices
LG’s Care Solution: appliance rentals for short-term needs
Singleton lifestyles drive smaller homes in hyper-urban areas
Micro-apartments: tiny spaces for smaller costs


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