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Living alone is the new normal in Canada

More men are living alone (Getty)
More men are living alone (Getty)

Despite real estate’s unaffordability in most of the country — for the first time ever — a one-person household is the most common type of living situation.

According to new data from Statistics Canada — one person households overtook couples with children in 2016 to account for 28 per cent of all households, or 4 million Canadians.

Homeownership rates from 1981 to 2016 increased from 32 per cent to 50 per cent among those who live alone.

Statistics Canada says an increase in condominium supply likely stems from the growing trend towards solo living. One in five people living alone reside in a condo, either owned or rented. Among solo dwellers who owned homes, 28 per cent owned condos.

Considering sky-high real estate prices, affordability can be a major concern among those living alone. Among solo dwellers, 41 per cent had monthly shelter costs considered not affordable. Which means 30 per cent or more of their average monthly household income, goes towards shelter. It’s 17 per cent among those not living alone.

More men are living alone, particularly among seniors, as life expectancy for men increases.

Most people who live alone have been in a relationship. Almost three-quarters of people living alone age 20 or older previously lived as part of a married or common-law couple. Over half had at least one child.

One-third of young adults (aged 20 to 34) living alone were in relationships. Of those that weren’t in relationships, 72 per cent said they were open to living in a common-law union, 60 per cent intended to marry in the future, and 67 per cent plan to have a child someday.

People who live alone don’t appear to be happier than their co-living counterparts. Among adults aged 20 and older who live alone, 61 per cent reported they were satisfied with their situation. Among those living with others, 71 per cent said they were satisfied.

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