Living alone

Solitary habitation
Increasing number of single person households
In the USA, approximately 22.6 million people live alone and increase of 100% in the ten years since 1970. People living alone reflect an expanding elderly population, with many more widows living alone, later marriage, more divorce, greater financial independence for women and the availability of more housing units. In 1993 it was estimate that half the flats in Paris were inhabited by people living alone. In 1994 in the UK a survey indicated that a quarter of all men were single, with 11% living entirely alone, namely almost double the figure ten years previously, and three times that in 1963.
Living alone is bad for one's health. A review of death rates in 16 developed countries showed that single, divorced and widowed people die younger than married ones. In addition, those living alone are more likely to suffer accidents, suicide attempts and mental disorders.
1. Contrary to popular myth, living alone is not detrimental to the mental health or physical health of older women. Older women who live alone are not likely to have more health problems than those who live with a spouse or other family member. Solo seniors actually do better on tests of mental health.

2. Living alone does not necessarily mean loneliness. Many people are quite happy living alone. Through living alone, people realize that other people do not have the power to bestow or remove happiness. They also learn to face the world as a single entity, overcome fears and social conditioning, and have more choice and freedom about domestic, sexual and professional matters. Living alone is the choice of many authors, theatre people and intellectuals. Some of the world's great thinkers - including Descartes, Pascal, Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein - never married and lived alone for the greater part of their lives.

3. People who are handicapped by health problems may be less likely to marry in the first place, and that people who are widowed tend to be older rather than younger.

(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems