埃里克•克兰纳伯格博士所著的《单身奏鸣曲：独处的兴盛与诱惑》（Going Solo : The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone）一书对单身生活方式进行了描述，称单身已经日渐成为个人选择，而不是像以往那样，被人们普遍视作是某种社交失败的结果了。
Coming Soon: The Married Minority?
A new book by a American sociology professor documents how a record number of Americans now live by themselves, and, what’s more, they spend more discretionary dollars than their married counterparts.
More and more companies are taking note of this phenomenon and adjusting their product design and development, marketing and advertising plans accordingly.
Only 51% of American adults today are married. Of the country’s 32 million singletons, the majority — about 18 million — are women.
The book “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone”, by Professor Eric Klinenberg, describes the solo lifestyle as increasingly a matter of personal choice rather than a result of some kind of social failure, as it was once widely perceived.
The internet age and accompanying 24/7 work culture have made living alone more attractive and manageable for many, an easier mode in which to achieve a balance among work, life and relationship issues.
The growth in this demographic has spawned hip new neighborhoods for urban professionals which are full of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, boutiques, health clubs, etc. It has also caught the attention of real estate developers, since singles buy 1/3 of all homes in the U.S. and their needs are often different than couples with kids.
Other than real estate developers, other consumer companies sharpening their marketing focus on singles include packaged foods, alcoholic beverages, jewelry, restaurants, home furnishings, etc.
The author outlines the results of a 1957 survey of American attitudes to being single. The findings were dramatic. Of those surveyed, 80% believed that people who preferred to be unmarried were “sick”, “immoral”, or “neurotic.”
America 55 years ago had an adult population with more than 70% married, so it’s understandable that most people felt that was the norm. But still: “sick, immoral or neurotic?” How times change!
One obvious question is how this demographic shift in America over the past half-century compares with other regions around the world. The data suggests it’s clearly not just an American phenomenon.
In Stockholm, Sweden, 60% of households have only one occupant. In London and Paris, singletons number roughly 50% of total households (about the same as Manhattan and Washington, D.C.).
In Taiwan, singletons have already topped 42% of the over-20 population.
European countries already have higher “live alone” percentages in their urban centers than the U.S. does, and there are also sharp increases underway in India, Brazil and China.
The implications of this ongoing trend are profound, for leaders in business and government alike. At the rate we’re heading, married couples may be in the minority before long.
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