Whether it’s your neighbor, a relative or a coworker, there’s a good chance you know someone who lives alone. In fact, more than 36 million Americans, or 29% of all U.S. households, are one-person households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
And the trend of living solo shows no signs of slowing down as major life milestones such as marriage are being put on hold, KSNF reports. In 2022, the average age to marry was 30 for men and 28 for women.
But which cities are home to the most people who live alone, and where has living alone seen the biggest increase?
In order to find America’s “loneliest” cities, the Chamber of Commerce analyzed Census Bureau data across more than 170 cities with a population of at least 150,000.
Washington D.C. ranks No. 1, but the No. 2 spot in the nation goes to St. Louis. Among all homes in St. Louis, nearly half (47.5%) or 66,357 are occupied by one person.
Here are additional highlights for St. Louis:
- Lonely Women: In St. Louis, 25.7% of one-person householders are women, which makes the city the 4th loneliest in the nation for women. Richmond, Virginia ranks No. 1.
- Lonely Men: Meanwhile, 21.8% of one-person householders are men, which makes the city the 4th loneliest city for men.
- St. Louis is Getting Lonelier: The city appears to be getting lonelier. On average, the number of people living alone in St. Louis has increased 1.98% year-over-year since 2016.
- Pandemic Loneliness: Despite the average annual increase in people living alone, the number of one-person households in St. Louis actually decreased during the pandemic by 4.83% from 69,727 in 2019 to 66,357 in 2021. However, the city still ranks 2nd for the highest overall percentage of people living alone next to Washington, D.C.
Springfield, Missouri also made the “top 30” list, coming in at number 23. Here are additional highlights for Springfield:
- Percent Living Alone (Women): 19.5%
- Percent Living Alone (Men): 20.1%
- One-Person Households: 31,323