The number of people living alone in the UK is growing at a rate 10 times that of the general population, according to a new study.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the study, commissioned by the insurer Liverpool Victoria, also concludes that young people will spend 50 per cent longer living alone than members of their parents' generation.
An average British person currently in their 20s is now likely to live alone for an average of 15 years during their lifetime, instead of the 10 years those currently approaching retirement might experience.
The shift is the result of a combination of people marrying later and living longer as well as being more likely to divorce. The research also suggests that those living alone each pay an average of around £1,800 more on housing, utilities and other household expenses than those who are part of a couple.
The study was compiled by analysts using a combination of projections from the Government Actuary's Department and data from the Office for national statistics. It suggests that the number of single person households has leapt from just 3.8 million in 1974 to 8.7 million now, a rise of 129 per cent.
During that time the overall population has grown by 13 per cent – a rapid increase by historical standards but much less marked than the growth in people living outside traditional families.
The 2011 census showed that in some areas popular with young professionals, particularly parts of London, single people are now the dominant social group.