The number of single households in the UK in 2019 has risen to its all-time record, and there are now 8.2 million single households in the UK, 20% more than in 1999. Over the last five years, an additional 600,000 households have been added to the figures, leaving 29.5% of homes housing just one person.
According to the Office of National Statistics, half of those living alone are aged over 65, often as a result of a partner’s death.
Over the last 20 years, there has also been a dramatic increase (72.1%) in the number of middle-aged men (aged 45-64) who have either never married, married at a later stage in life or are divorced and have left the family home.
The Centre for Ageing Better says the trend needs to be reflected in our homes and communities to ensure we have the opportunity to stay connected, meaning homes and places must be designed to provide good public transport as well as walkable streets to provide a strong community structure.
Furthermore, our homes must be safe and suitable for those with mobility needs so that people can remain independent in their homes for longer.
Lone parent families account for 2.9 million homes (9.7%), although children are increasingly likely to be older. Nearly one in five families in London live in a household with a single parent. The growing number of cohabiting couples has increased the number of break-ups in this group, who are now three times more likely to split up than married couples. However, the number of married couples with children has increased from 60.9% in 2009 to 61.4% in 2019.
The total number of two or more families, whether unrelated or multi-generational, sharing a home has increased from 170,000 in 1999 to 297,000 in 2019. At 6.2%, London has double the average of multi-family households, compared to the national average of 2.8%. The fastest-growing household type in the UK are multi-family homes, although currently these represent the smallest proportion of households.
In stark contrast to statistics elsewhere in the UK, the number of households with two or more unrelated adults in the South East of England has decreased by 25.1% from 2014-19, to 74,000 .
If you’re living alone and thinking of downsizing, or perhaps have needs that can’t be provided for in your current home, ask a Chartered Surveyor to provide a building survey on your new property to ensure your new home purchase is suitable for your needs and budget.