How many people live alone in France?

Population and Societies

484, December 2011

According to the 2007 census, 14% of the French population lives alone. What age groups are most concerned? Is there any difference between men and women? Is this proportion increasing? Laurent Toulemon and Sophie Pennec provide answers to these questions and explain that being counted as living alone in a dwelling actually covers a range of situations, since one in ten persons in this category do not live alone all the time.
According to the 2007 census, one in seven inhabitants of mainland France and Corsica lives alone. This proportion has increased steadily over the last fifty years, rising from 6% in 1962 to 14% in 2007. A larger proportion of women than men live alone. They leave the parental home earlier than sons, and also form unions at younger ages. While one woman in five lives alone at age 20, the proportion falls to below 8% at age 40 before rising sharply at advanced ages, to reach 55% at age 80. One in ten persons counted in the census as living alone, do not in fact live alone all the time. They may have two homes and live alone in just one of them, or have just one home but share it with other people part of the time.

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