Solo Living Rises To 27 Percent Nationwide

According to data from the 2010 census, living alone is on the decline in Manhattan, New York, but going solo seems to be a new trend elsewhere in the United States.

Escalating rents during the last decade forced a dip in solo living for Manhattan — from 48 percent of households in 2000 to 46.3 percent in 2010.

Nationwide, the rate has reached an all-time high — almost 27 percent of households are living by themselves.

“I see the rise of living alone as one of the great demographic changes in modern history,” said New York University sociologist Eric Klineberg, author of the soon-to-be-published “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.” ”It may be the last great social change that we haven’t fully come to terms with.”

The biggest growth in solo dwelling has been in small communities such as Chattahootchee County, Ga., near Fort Benning, and Park County, Colorado, a result of other parts of the nation catching up with what had been a big-city trait.

While some people initially are frightened by the prospect of living in solitude, others quickly find advantages.

Penny Jacobs was aware of the extra resources required to live alone when she divorced her husband in 2003. However, the 58-year-old attorney can tick off the advantages of solo living in her high-rise condo in downtown Orlando.

“You know that if you put something in the refrigerator, it will be there when you’re ready to eat it. If your house is a mess, you know you made the mess. Nobody moves your stuff. The toilet seat is where you left it,” Jacobs said. “I like the control, freedom and independence.” Perhaps going solo isn’t as depressing as it sounds.