7. Women live by themselves more often than men

The proportion of those living alone of the total population has gradually grown from 13 per cent two decades ago to today's one fifth. The majority (32 %) 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 66 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 1990–2013

Figure 15. Household-dwelling unit population by size in 1990–2013

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 36 and 42; this is when every tenth woman lives alone.

Like young women, young men also live alone. However, living alone does not decrease among men with age as much as among women, but the percentage remains on the same level, around 23 per cent, for men aged slightly over 30 until those aged nearly 80. 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, middle-aged men living alone has become more common. In absolute numbers, women aged 66 and men aged 25 live most alone.

Figure 16. Men and women living alone as a proportion of age group in 1990 and 2013

Figure 16. Men and women living alone as a proportion of age group in 1990 and 2013

Source: Population and Cause of Death Statistics, Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


Updated 21.11.2014

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Families [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-3231. Annual Review 2013, 7. Women live by themselves more often than men . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 22.8.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/perh/2013/02/perh_2013_02_2014-11-21_kat_007_en.html