Special Report

The State Where the Most People Live Alone

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Some of the first questions asked in the decennial census are about how many people live in a household and their relationship to the head of that household. If there is no answer beyond “Person 1,” it is presumed that the person lives alone. According to the 2020 census, 37 million adults were living alone, up from 33 million in 2010. In 1960, the number was well under half of that. Today, the state where the most people live alone is North Dakota.

One factor in the increase of single-person households is the decline in the number of marriages nationwide. In 1950, the Census Bureau reported that 23% of persons aged 15 and over had never been married. By the 2020 census, that percentage had risen to 34%. Meanwhile, the median age of first-time marriage has risen, as has the rate of divorce.

To find the states where the most people live alone – that is, the states with the most single-person residences – 24/7 Tempo used U.S. Census Bureau data, ranking states by the share of non-family households out of all households. We added the share of people living alone as a percentage of the civilian, noninstitutionalized 16+ population. All other data, including median annual household income, monthly gross rent, and bachelor’s degree attainment rate, comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey; numbers are estimates for that year, and both rent and income are expressed in 2019 inflation-adjusted dollars.

Click here to see the states where the most people live alone

In North Dakota, the No. 1 state on our list, almost 19% of adults live alone, comprising nearly 34% of households. This may be due in part to the state’s energy boom, which attracted young, single people from around the country. North Dakota also has relatively low rents, so the combination of economic opportunity and cheap housing may account for its top position among states. (This is the size of an average family in every state.)

At the other end of our list is Utah, where ljust over 8% of adults live alone, comprising 19% of households. That may have something to do with the state’s religious profile. Most residents are Mormon and are more likely to marry and to have more children. In California and Hawaii, the reason for their relatively few single-person residences could be economics. Both have some of the most expensive housing costs in the nation. (On the other hand, these are the cheapest cities where everybody wants to live right now.)

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50. Utah
> One-person households: 19.16% (196,193 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 8.35% (the lowest)
> Median household income: $75,780 (11th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,098 (18th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 34.77% (15th highest)

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49. California
> One-person households: 24.08% (3,169,002 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 10.19% (2nd lowest)
> Median household income: $80,440 (5th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,614 (2nd highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 35.00% (13th highest)

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48. Idaho
> One-person households: 24.64% (161,580 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 11.81% (5th lowest)
> Median household income: $60,999 (20th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $880 (21st lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 28.75% (12th lowest)

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47. Hawaii
> One-person households: 25.21% (117,299 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 10.75% (3rd lowest)
> Median household income: $83,102 (4th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,651 (the highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 33.63% (18th highest)

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46. Texas
> One-person households: 25.63% (2,559,502 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 11.67% (4th lowest)
> Median household income: $64,034 (22nd highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,091 (19th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 30.77% (24th lowest)

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45. New Jersey
> One-person households: 26.40% (867,529 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 12.27% (6th lowest)
> Median household income: $85,751 (3rd highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,376 (4th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 41.22% (3rd highest)

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44. Washington
> One-person households: 26.63% (780,979 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 12.97% (9th lowest)
> Median household income: $78,687 (7th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,359 (7th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 36.97% (11th highest)

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43. Colorado
> One-person households: 27.10% (605,648 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.32% (14th lowest)
> Median household income: $77,127 (9th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,369 (5th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 42.66% (2nd highest)

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42. Arizona
> One-person households: 27.29% (728,663 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 12.75% (8th lowest)
> Median household income: $62,055 (23rd lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,101 (17th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 30.18% (19th lowest)

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41. Alaska
> One-person households: 27.40% (69,109 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 12.69% (7th lowest)
> Median household income: $75,463 (12th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,201 (11th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 30.19% (20th lowest)

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40. Wyoming
> One-person households: 27.43% (63,939 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.21% (25th lowest)
> Median household income: $65,003 (19th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $822 (11th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 29.13% (13th lowest)

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39. New Hampshire
> One-person households: 27.64% (149,666 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.35% (15th lowest)
> Median household income: $77,933 (8th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,147 (15th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 37.58% (9th highest)

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38. Virginia
> One-person households: 27.71% (884,430 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.26% (13th lowest)
> Median household income: $76,456 (10th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,254 (9th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 39.59% (6th highest)

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37. Georgia
> One-person households: 28.00% (1,078,622 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.16% (11th lowest)
> Median household income: $61,980 (22nd lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,049 (20th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 32.51% (23rd highest)

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36. Oregon
> One-person households: 28.14% (464,096 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.62% (18th lowest)
> Median household income: $67,058 (18th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,185 (12th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 34.55% (16th highest)

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35. Maryland
> One-person households: 28.17% (627,269 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.17% (12th lowest)
> Median household income: $86,738 (the highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,401 (3rd highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 40.88% (4th highest)

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34. Nevada
> One-person households: 28.52% (326,114 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.45% (17th lowest)
> Median household income: $63,276 (24th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,168 (14th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 25.69% (6th lowest)

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33. Massachusetts
> One-person households: 28.59% (757,803 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.45% (16th lowest)
> Median household income: $85,843 (2nd highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,360 (6th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 44.98% (the highest)

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32. North Carolina
> One-person households: 28.61% (1,157,599 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.04% (21st lowest)
> Median household income: $57,341 (12th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $931 (25th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 32.30% (25th highest)

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31. Oklahoma
> One-person households: 28.64% (428,168 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.14% (23rd lowest)
> Median household income: $54,449 (8th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $814 (10th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 26.21% (7th lowest)

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30. Florida
> One-person households: 28.64% (2,264,095 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.00% (10th lowest)
> Median household income: $59,227 (17th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,238 (10th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 30.70% (23rd lowest)

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29. Nebraska
> One-person households: 28.72% (221,565 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.96% (15th highest)
> Median household income: $63,229 (25th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $859 (16th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 33.23% (20th highest)

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28. Tennessee
> One-person households: 28.74% (762,965 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.18% (24th lowest)
> Median household income: $56,071 (9th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $904 (23rd lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 28.72% (11th lowest)

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27. Delaware
> One-person households: 28.80% (108,346 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.92% (20th lowest)
> Median household income: $70,176 (16th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,116 (16th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 33.20% (21st highest)

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26. South Carolina
> One-person households: 28.99% (572,757 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.10% (22nd lowest)
> Median household income: $56,227 (10th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $922 (24th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 29.60% (16th lowest)

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25. Connecticut
> One-person households: 29.00% (399,404 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 13.85% (19th lowest)
> Median household income: $78,833 (6th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,177 (13th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 39.84% (5th highest)

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24. Kansas
> One-person households: 29.11% (331,389 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.87% (17th highest)
> Median household income: $62,087 (24th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $862 (17th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 34.02% (17th highest)

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23. Kentucky
> One-person households: 29.15% (509,690 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.59% (23rd highest)
> Median household income: $52,295 (7th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $773 (4th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 25.13% (5th lowest)

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22. Minnesota
> One-person households: 29.39% (653,284 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.77% (18th highest)
> Median household income: $74,593 (13th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,016 (23rd highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 37.25% (10th highest)

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21. Arkansas
> One-person households: 29.48% (343,101 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.64% (21st highest)
> Median household income: $48,952 (3rd lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $742 (2nd lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 23.34% (3rd lowest)

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20. Iowa
> One-person households: 29.63% (381,430 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.46% (9th highest)
> Median household income: $61,691 (21st lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $808 (8th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 29.31% (15th lowest)

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19. West Virginia
> One-person households: 29.64% (215,804 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.91% (16th highest)
> Median household income: $48,850 (2nd lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $727 (the lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 21.05% (the lowest)

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18. Alabama
> One-person households: 29.84% (566,168 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.66% (20th highest)
> Median household income: $51,734 (5th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $807 (7th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 26.35% (8th lowest)

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17. South Dakota
> One-person households: 29.93% (105,901 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.75% (6th highest)
> Median household income: $59,533 (18th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $769 (3rd lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 29.72% (17th lowest)

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16. Pennsylvania
> One-person households: 30.15% (1,543,550 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.02% (13th highest)
> Median household income: $63,463 (23rd highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $951 (25th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 32.31% (24th highest)

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15. Louisiana
> One-person households: 30.25% (526,658 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.72% (19th highest)
> Median household income: $51,073 (4th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $866 (18th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 24.98% (4th lowest)

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14. Missouri
> One-person households: 30.25% (743,724 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.46% (8th highest)
> Median household income: $57,409 (13th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $834 (13th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 30.22% (21st lowest)

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13. Mississippi
> One-person households: 30.27% (333,071 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.56% (24th highest)
> Median household income: $45,792 (the lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $777 (5th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 22.31% (2nd lowest)

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12. Indiana
> One-person households: 30.38% (789,156 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.04% (12th highest)
> Median household income: $57,603 (14th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $840 (14th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 26.94% (9th lowest)

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11. Wisconsin
> One-person households: 30.49% (727,668 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.71% (7th highest)
> Median household income: $64,168 (21st highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $867 (19th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 31.34% (25th lowest)

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10. Michigan
> One-person households: 30.49% (1,210,588 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.15% (11th highest)
> Median household income: $59,584 (19th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $888 (22nd lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 30.03% (18th lowest)

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9. New York
> One-person households: 30.50% (2,270,961 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.51% (25th highest)
> Median household income: $72,108 (14th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,309 (8th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 37.81% (8th highest)

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8. Montana
> One-person households: 30.69% (134,306 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.80% (5th highest)
> Median household income: $57,153 (11th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $831 (12th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 33.58% (19th highest)

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7. Illinois
> One-person households: 30.77% (1,497,316 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.97% (14th highest)
> Median household income: $69,187 (17th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,020 (22nd highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 35.76% (12th highest)

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6. Rhode Island
> One-person households: 31.02% (126,319 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 14.62% (22nd highest)
> Median household income: $71,169 (15th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $1,043 (21st highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 34.84% (14th highest)

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5. Ohio
> One-person households: 31.08% (1,470,229 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.91% (4th highest)
> Median household income: $58,642 (15th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $813 (9th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 29.28% (14th lowest)

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4. Maine
> One-person households: 31.19% (178,939 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 16.12% (2nd highest)
> Median household income: $58,924 (16th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $870 (20th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 33.19% (22nd highest)

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3. New Mexico
> One-person households: 31.32% (248,530 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 15.16% (10th highest)
> Median household income: $51,945 (6th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $847 (15th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 27.67% (10th lowest)

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2. Vermont
> One-person households: 31.64% (83,141 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 16.04% (3rd highest)
> Median household income: $63,001 (25th lowest)
> Monthly gross rent: $980 (24th highest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 38.66% (7th highest)

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1. North Dakota
> One-person households: 33.66% (108,881 households)
> Adults living alone out of adult civilian pop: 18.69% (the highest)
> Median household income: $64,577 (20th highest)
> Monthly gross rent: $804 (6th lowest)
> Bachelor’s degree attainment rate: 30.41% (22nd lowest)

Methodology

To find the states with the most single-person residences, 24/7 Wall St. used Census Bureau data, ranking states by the share of nonfamily households living alone out of all households. We also added the share of people living alone as a percentage of the civilian, noninstitutionalized 16+ population. All data, including median annual household income, monthly gross rent, and bachelor’s degree attainment rate, came from the 2019 American Community Survey and are estimates for that year. Both rent and income are expressed in 2019 inflation-adjusted dollars.

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