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Eric Klinenberg: Solo Living is the New Nuclear Family
The Family | October 02, 2012

Eric Klinenberg: Solo Living is the New Nuclear Family

There's no question that the modern family is changing. Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, argues that more people are living alone (largely by choice) than ever before—and that this monumental shift is redefining our modern society. A recent CBC article, quoting Statistics Canada census data, gives even more weight and validity to Klinenberg's revolutionary research.

"Married couples are in a long-term decline, single parenting has risen persistently, and families have gradually shrunk," the article says. Furthermore: "for the first time, Statistics Canada says there are more people living alone in Canada than there are couples with children." Using data compiled from the 2011 census, the survey found that "one-person households now make up 27.6 per cent of all homes, a three-fold increase since 1961." 

The trend of "going solo," according to Klinenberg, a Professor at New York University, is one of the largest societal shifts in years that no one is talking about. In his book, and in his widely-applicable keynotes, Klinenberg dissects the transition from the traditional nuclear family model (mom, dad, and 2.5 kids) that typifyed the social landscape 50 years ago, to a more independent society where people are delaying marriage and choosing to live on their own for longer. Named by TIME Magazine to be the  "#1 Idea That is Changing Your Life," his research alters the way we look at our economy, our cities, and our social structures.
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