Grand Rapids tops national average of adults who live alone

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An analysis from Self Financial found 25,191 Grand Rapids adults live alone, which is 17.2% of all adults in the city.

Among 122 midsize cities surveyed, Grand Rapids ranked No. 49 for percent of adults who live alone. Comparatively, St. Louis, Missouri, had the highest percentage of adults who live alone at 28.4% and Fontana, California, had the lowest percentage at 3.6%.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey showed the share of adults who live alone has nearly doubled in the last 50 years. In 2019, 14.6% of adults lived by themselves. The rise of single-person households is because of a variety of factors, including rising incomes, migration from rural areas to cities, and increased female labor force participation.

Shelter-in-place and social distancing orders in the wake of COVID-19 can amplify loneliness for people who live by themselves. Additionally, those suffering job losses and other financial hardships can’t rely on a significant other or roommate to help cover essential costs.

Summary of Grand Rapids data:

  • Percentage of households with one resident: 33.4% (28% nationally)
  • Total number of adults living alone: 25,191 (34,048,851 nationally)
  • Median personal income: $30,373 ($35,291 nationally)
  • Median monthly housing costs: $898 ($1,082 nationally)

Methodology

To determine the cities with the most adults living alone, researchers at Self Financial analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The researchers ranked cities according to the share of adults 18 years and over who live alone.

Researchers also looked at the percentage of households with one resident, the total number of adults living alone, median personal income and median monthly housing costs.

To improve relevance, only cities with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, cities were grouped into cohorts based on population size. Small cities have between 100,000 and 150,000 residents, midsize cities have between 150,000 and 350,000 residents, and large cities have more than 350,000 residents.

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