A new study analyzing the number of city households occupied by a lone person identified Washington, DC, as America’s “loneliest” city, two spots ahead of Alexandria.
The study, compiled by the Chamber of Commerce using information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, analyzed data from 170 cities with populations of at least 150,000. Those numbers were then broken down by the number of male and female residents living in single-person households.
In all, more than 36 million Americans — about 29 percent of all U.S. households — live alone, with women accounting for a greater number of one-person homes in nearly every location.
By comparison, just over 48 percent of DC’s 319,565 households comprise the one-person variety, with 21.5 percent occupied by solo men and 26.7 percent by women. The independent lifestyle in the nation’s capital is only growing, the study adds, as the number of persons living alone has increased 5.9 percent year-over-year since 2016.
Coming in at No. 3 on the “loneliest” list, Alexandria recorded 33,508 one-person households, accounting for about 46.5 percent of the total number of homes. Just over 26 percent of women in the Northern Virginia hub live alone, which also ranked third (one behind DC) in the female-specific category.
Farther south, Richmond also cracked the top-five “loneliest” list. An estimated 46.2 percent of homes in Richmond are occupied by solo residents, good for fourth overall. Richmond also ranks No. 1 when it comes to loneliest cities for women, with 28 percent of homes occupied by a single female.
Year-over-year increases in solo living show “no signs of slowing down,” the study authors say, “as major life milestones such as marriage are being put on hold.”
The rest of the 10 loneliest cities, meanwhile, were St. Louis, Missouri (second), Cincinnati (fifth), Cleveland (sixth) New Orleans (seventh), Birmingham, Alabama (eighth), Atlanta (ninth), and Baltimore (10th).
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