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Number of people living alone doubles in 40 years

Lucinda Beeman
Written By:
Lucinda Beeman

The number of Brits living alone has doubled in 40 years, research has shown, putting increased financial pressure on a larger proportion of the population.

The study by LV= found that 8.7 million UK adults live alone, compared to 3.8 million in 1974.

It said longer lifespans and higher divorce rates have contributed to the trend, though almost half lived alone because they valued their independence.

The report revealed young people today can expect to live alone for a total of 15 years over the course of their life, five years longer than those currently in their 60s or 70s.

The reality of living alone means more financial pressures on solo dwellers.

According to LV= the average single-person household spends £1,826 more per year on housing and utilities than a couple, even with the discount on council tax for those who live by themselves.

Overall, a single-person household can expect to pay six per cent more than their coupled counterparts.

Those living alone consequently have less in savings. Single-person households reported having an average of £2,000 saved, compared to the average savings of £6,000 for a two-person household.

Richard Rowney, managing director of LV=, said: “People’s living arrangements are changing and more people are choosing to hold onto their independence for longer.

“While the freedom of living alone has many advantages, it is important to realise the financial cost of independence.”