7. One-fifth are living alone

The proportion of those living alone of the total population has gradually grown from 15 per cent two decades ago to today's one fifth. Around one-third of the population live in two-person household-dwelling units. Over one-half of persons aged 57 to 79 live in two-person household-dwelling units. In relative terms, persons aged 67 to 70 live most often in two-person household-dwelling units, over 63 per cent of the age group.

Figure 15. Household-dwelling unit population by size in 1990–2014

Figure 15. Household-dwelling unit population by size in 1990–2014

In all, women live by themselves more often than men do. In percentages, 26 per cent of the women and 23 per cent of the men aged over 16 years live alone. The gendered proportional distribution of living alone is somewhat different when examined against age. Changes are the most drastic in the life cycle of women, who live alone when young and most probably again when old. The proportion of women living alone is the lowest when they are aged between 37 and 41; this is when every tenth woman lives alone.

Like young women, young men also live alone. However, the number of men living alone does not decrease by age as much as that of women. The proportion of men living alone is at its lowest at 39, when one-fifth of men are living alone. The proportion does not go any lower than this, but the proportion of men living alone remains at good one-fifth until the age of eighty. After this, the proportion of men living alone gets bigger.

Since 1990, living alone among women and men has increased strongly particularly in the youngest age groups but also in the oldest age groups. On the other hand, it has become more common for middle-aged men to live alone. In absolute numbers, women aged 67 and men aged 24 live most alone.

Figure 16. Men and women living alone as a proportion of age group in 1990 and 2014

Figure 16. Men and women living alone as a proportion of age group in 1990 and 2014

Source: Population and Justice Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marjut Pietiläinen 029 551 2798, Timo Nikander 029 551 3250, info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma


Updated 27.11.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Families [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-3231. Annual Review 2014, 7. One-fifth are living alone . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 5.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/perh/2014/02/perh_2014_02_2015-11-27_kat_007_en.html