38.3% of Bostonians live alone. While that doesn’t necessarily equate to loneliness, it does make Boston the 30th loneliest city in the country according to a recent study by the Chamber of Commerce ironically after just being ranked the 36th best city to live in the world and the 6th best in the country.
They analyzed all American cities with a population of 150,000 plus and calculated the percentage of males and females living completely alone. 15.3 % of Bostonian males live alone and 23.1% of Bostonian females live alone.
Of course, a feeling of loneliness is not always literally defined by physically being alone. You can be surrounded by friends and family and feel lonely or live alone and feel completely fulfilled and not alone, so the study is more an overview of literal loneliness rather than emotional.
The loneliest city in America is Washington D.C. with 48.2% of residents living completely alone. The top 5 loneliest cities in the U.S. are:
- Washington D.C.-48.2%
- St. Louis, MO-47.5%
- Alexandria, VA-46.5%
- Richmond, VA-46.2%
- Cincinnati, OH-46.2%
While the Chamber of Commerce did not investigate why these people live alone, there are a few speculations:
- The pandemic influenced decisions to live with others
- Rent rates (compared to other cities such as LA and NYC) are slightly more realistic to afford without a roommate, albeit still high
- Increased housing options, so more spaces to fill, with housing units in Boston increasing by 16,000 units by 2030
Some might call living alone loneliness, and others independence and a sign of financial security. You decide!