More and more people living alone in the Netherlands

More and more people living alone in the Netherlands

Never before have there been so many single people in the Netherlands. Recent research of the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) shows that between 1947 and 2017, the percentage of people who live alone has increased from 5 to 22 percent.

A continuing trend

This trend is expected to continue in the next three decades. The CBS foresees that in 2047, out of an adult population of 15 million people, there will be 3.6 million people living alone. This is roughly 1 out of 4 people.

The CBS also expects that the number of single parents will continue to rise. In 1947, only one percent of the adult population was a single parent. According to the statistics bureau, this will be four percent in 2047.

Different values

One of the reasons for the increased percentage of people living alone could be the change of values after WWII. While it was mostly widows and widowers who lived alone in 1947, nowadays over half of the people who live alone have never been married. Sex, marriage, having babies and living together are no longer as closely connected.

Moreover, couples are no longer staying together out of necessity. Getting a divorce is easier and no longer considered shameful.

Furthermore, prosperity, the increased economic independence of women and the expansion of the welfare state have all played a part in why more people live on their own nowadays.

Alone but not lonely?

So, more and more people are living alone in the Netherlands, but does this mean they are lonely? The answer is no, according to the CBS. Many people under the age of 30 are in a relationship, with the intention of getting married or moving in together in the future. This is different for the people over the age of 50; 6 out of 10 don’t want to get (re)married or live with someone else.

The CBS reports that only five percent of the people who live alone actually feel lonely. However, as a group, singles and single parents are lonely more often than other groups. This is especially the case when it comes to divorced people.

Manja van Kesteren


Manja van Kesteren

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Manja studied English and Creative & Professional Writing at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK. She has been working as a content editor and...

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peosforos13 09:25 | 2 July 2018

This is something totally positive. As a bachelor I find it totally weird to live together with strangers in shared apartments and share with them kitchen and toilet. this is totally absurd!