43 percent of Minneapolis lives alone (that's 16 percent higher than the national average)

Going solo: All the cool cities are doing it.
Going solo: All the cool cities are doing it.
ForRent.com via Glamour

You might say we're independent. Independent, not lonely. Or ahead of the curve, yeah, that's it. Because everybody's doing it: A full 27 percent of U.S. households -- 31 million, to be exact -- boast just one occupant. That's a three fold increase from 1950, when a mere 9 percent of households sheltered a single resident.

See also:
- Minnesota is the state of the future, Gallup says
- Minnesota is the least miserable state, according to Bloomberg
- In a south Minneapolis neighborhood, there are signs in the air

But in Minneapolis, the number of people going solo is even higher.

43 percent of Minneapolis residences have one solitary name on the mailbox, according to this useful infographic on changing living trends, which uses data from Fortune for the numbers about us.

That means we're up there with the trendsetters of the country: In Washington, D.C. the number's nearly half (48 percent), because who has time for love or friendship when there's politics going on? 46 percent of Manhattan apartments have solo-occupancy (no word on if that includes the people making a bedroom out of a closet to try to beat high rents), and Atlanta has 45 percent. Then there's us, ahead of Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and Cleveland.

All these new single residences are part of a larger shift in how we live. There was new census data in June that pointed to an increasingly urban national population. In July, Met Council estimates showed that we're part of that trend, with Minneapolis and St. Paul finally growing faster than the burbs. 

Urbanization like this is connected to the climbing number of people opting to live alone -- there aren't many singles who spring for a house with a yard and good schools. That infographic spotlights some of the forces behind the trend: Women have their own paycheck now, which means they can have their own rent, too. Americans are living longer, getting married later, and by some measures, getting divorced more. The idea that people can live how they want is more widespread.

Here are some other quick stats to back up the trend: For the first time, fewer than half of American homes house a married couple. And it's not just the kids striking out on their own. Because of Social Security and pensions, more seniors can afford to keep their independence going, too: 100 years ago, nearly 70 percent of elderly widows lived with a child; today, just 20 percent of that group does. 

All this solitary living means something else though, too: We're spending more! Singledom is better for the economy. Per Fortune again, the average singleton spent $34,471  in 2010, versus $28,017 spent by married couples without kids.

So add that to our list of solo-living euphemisms: Minneapolis, you're independent, trendsetting, and good for the GDP.

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