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Documenting America's Most Unrecognized Social Change of the Last Half-Century

Earlier this week, Eric Klinenberg spoke with PBS' Newshour about his new book, "Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone", and the biggest social change of the last 60 years that we've failed to adequately recognize.

The subject of Klinenberg's book is the "Singleton", who represents the dramatic rise in single adults, and adults living alone since 1950. In that year, 22% of American adults were single, and 4 million lived alone. Today, more than 50% of adults are single, and 31 million live alone.

Ray Suarez, with the Newshour, quizzes Klinenberg on the causes for, and implications of, this profound demographic shift. While the paths to a single life may be diverse, Klinenberg notes that, "people who live alone are opting to do so. Now, they might not aspire to be on their own, but they all have other choices available to them, really regardless of what age they are."

Of interesting consequence for the physical environment is that cities are much better equipped to accommodate singletons. However, "as our society ages and the boomer generation begins to age alone, we will find that our housing is not quite up to the challenge of giving people what they want, which is a place of their own, if they can't have the right partner, but also connection to other people and to all kinds of care and support."

Full Story: Why More Americans Are Living Alone


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