Rates of single-person households – the majority of which, researchers believe, are occupied by a person not in a relationship – have risen sharply since the 1970s.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number will continue to increase by around 63 per cent over the next 20 years or so, from 2.1 million households in 2011 to almost 3.4 million in 2036.
Leaving aside ageing population factors, could the two trends be linked?
It’s a subject tackled by guests on this week’s , which brought together people single by choice and circumstance to determine why increasing numbers of Australians are living their lives without a significant other.
The latter says it can raise its revenues in Australia by 50 per cent over 2017/18, such is the potential in our market.
Hugh Mackay, a social researcher specialising in this area, speculates these trends might be part of a bigger social shift valorising individualism.Dating app Tinder says 15 per cent of Australia’s population – almost 3.5 million people - use their services, propelled by lust or the quest for love.Matchmaking website RSVP boasts that 1,200 new singles join the site every day, while competitor e Harmony claims they are responsible for 11,000 Australian marriages since 2007.With the proliferation of online dating services, do we just have too much choice?“I think because [decision making in dating apps] is so fast paced we've conditioned people to just wonder, ‘what's next? “I think a lot of people my age are concerned that the person that they're on a date with is thinking, ‘is there something better? ’” “So true,” agreed Allison Norris, a 28 year-old single woman living in Melbourne. They were pretty open about it.” In the face of so much choice, users aren’t afraid to be picky and quick in their decisions – perhaps, somewhat paradoxically, contributing to singledom numbers.