Behind 125 million single-person households: Why are single-person households so large?
China well-off net Exclusive features article | “well-off”, Chinese well-off network reporter Su Feng a person for a lifetime to find their favorite that matter, to find your favorite that person, two things are important.With the number of single-person households increasing, the single economy has grown rapidly in recent years, spawned many new products, services, industries and business models.Photo /TOCHONG Living alone, eating alone and traveling alone are increasing.According to the China Statistical Yearbook of 2021, there were 494.16 million households in China in 2020, of which there were more than 125 million single-person households, accounting for more than 25 percent.Why are one-person households so large?What challenges and opportunities will it bring to society?A phenomenon, two group of the State Council development research center, director of the social development research laboratory, researchers Feng Wen fierce thinks, from the structure of our country’s current “one family” household mainly consists of two parts people, part is the single old families, the elderly in the solitary state in the family, the other part is that the young single family.”With changes such as longer life expectancy, different values between generations and the rise of celibacy, the size and proportion of single-person households in China are expanding. This is an inevitable trend of social development and cannot be defined simply as good or bad.But the whole society should pay great attention to its proportion and how fast it is rising.”What are the reasons behind such a large number of “one-person households” and the growing number of loners in our society?”Single-person households now account for a quarter of all households,” feng said. “There are many economic and social reasons behind the increase. In terms of details, the reasons for the increase are different among the elderly and the young.”According to Feng wenmeng’s analysis, the number and proportion of elderly people in one-person households are also increasing with the continuous development of aging and advances in medical technology.Overall, women have a higher life expectancy than men, and if one of the elderly couples dies first, one of them will be left alone.At the same time, due to the changes in family values and the differences in values between generations, the proportion of children living together with the elderly is decreasing.All these factors have led to a further increase in the number and proportion of the elderly living alone.”Many young people choose to live alone at the beginning of their employment,” feng said.On the one hand, most young people belong to trans-regional mobile employment, objectively unable to live with their parents;On the other hand, even if they live in the same city as their parents, the proportion of people living alone with their parents is further increasing when conditions permit, due to different life concepts, living habits and behavior patterns, as well as the desire for independent and free space.”Over the past 40 years, China has experienced rapid social change and improved housing conditions.Coupled with the prevalence of self-satisfaction, there has been an increase in the number of people who marry late or not at all.The values and cognition of different generations differ greatly, and there are many contradictions caused by intergenerational residence.In this context, the scale and proportion of young people living alone are further increasing.Opportunities and Challenges what new opportunities will the growth of one-person households bring to the economy and society?According to Feng wenmeng, the single economy has seen rapid development in recent years with the increase in the number of single-person households, spurting out new demands and spawning new products, services, industries and business models.For example, one-person products are increasingly popular, and small size has become a big trend.In terms of food, clothing, accommodation and transportation, there will be more products to meet the needs of one person, such as 100-gram rice, one-person hot pot, mini home appliances, mini KTV and so on.In addition, in the future, there will be more business models specifically for people who live alone.For example, health monitoring and safety services are provided for elderly people living alone.A service that solves the problem of young people living alone being unwilling to do housework and unable to cook.On the whole, many services originally provided by families may be transformed into social services. The demand for food ordering and housekeeping will be further released, and the “lazy economy” of spending money to buy convenience and time may become more popular.What are the challenges posed by the increase in one-person households?Feng Wenmeng believes that the problems and challenges brought by the continuous growth of single-family families are gradually highlighted, mainly reflected in the following four aspects: First, the problem of insufficient family pension supply.The increase of the elderly living alone requires the accelerated development of home-based community pension.At the same time, the elderly living alone have their own specific needs, such as the need to establish a more perfect disease surveillance system, to ensure timely treatment in case of accidents, to increase the sense of security in the living environment.Therefore, in the construction of old-age care services, it is necessary to build a more perfect socialized home-based old-age care service system and develop more convenient, affordable and close to the elderly.Overall, the current demand in this area is very large, the gap is also very large.The other is whether to get psychological comfort.People living alone need to give spiritual care, living alone for a long time if there is no good emotional channels, easy to produce some psychological problems, serious may also cause some social problems.An increase in the number of people with autism in some countries in recent years has been linked to an increase in living alone.Although the proportion of this problem is not too high in China, the potential risk can not be ignored.Third, young people have a weak sense of family responsibility.In general, young people who live alone are less connected to their families and less willing to take on family responsibilities over time.Fourth, issues affecting fertility and population development.If the number of young people who live alone is allowed to increase, there will be some adverse effects on marriage, family and maintaining an appropriate level of fertility.”Living alone is not a sad state. It’s a great historical advance.”Liang Yongan, professor of Chinese literature at Fudan University, said, “The fact that we are facing such a situation today reflects the change of history, reflects the transformation of our new life, but also reflects some problems with our social emotions and natural emotions between men and women.”Why single?Countries are in a different state.The French have done research, and the number one reason is “can’t get over an ex.”This was followed by ‘we don’t have the energy to commit to a serious relationship’, ‘want to enjoy our youth to the fullest’ and ‘want both bread and love’.Liang Yong ‘an believes that “fear of injury” is a serious problem for Chinese youth. “There is a basic law in the society now, the probability of success in a love affair is very low, and the probability of getting married at one time is also very low. At this time, the harm is very great, and we are especially lack of a good breakup culture.”Another reason, he said, is that many singles are available when he is alone.These resources are not only material, but also spiritual and cultural, people can feel very good single life.”What is the best lifestyle one can build at China’s current stage of development?I happen to be single.Being single is easy and gives you a lot of freedom.”However, Liang also stressed that “our youth, in such an era of great civilization change, love can not be absent.Because today, if we open our eyes and understand emotions, we can find love right in front of us.”Liang yongan said today is a great era of civilization change.Everywhere in China you can see three generations of civilizations stacked like sandwiches.The people of the 1960s and 1970s came from the peasant era, and their life had traditional living habits;People in their 40s and 50s grew up in the industrial age;Both the post-1990 and post-1995 generations live a high-tech lifestyle.Now three different civilizations are intermingling.”In the historical space of China’s development, people can have good love, you love your love, like your love.In such a large space of difference, we can find our own special good commonality.At present, our way of living is too simple, our externality and richness have not been released, and it is difficult to express our inner being very vividly from the inside out.”Liang Yongan said that after various experiences in life, people will find that the most precious thing in the world is people, who have temperature and vitality more than any other material.”We are in this age today, surrounded by so many desires, and we have to pay a huge price as we move forward.In another 30 years, I believe there will be a large number of people in China. When they look back on their life, they will deeply lament the choice they made at that time. They are too young and have a long way to go.It’s fairly common.””This generation of young people also needs personal happiness in order to achieve national greatness.A person’s life is to find their favorite thing, find their favorite that person.Both things are important.”This article was published in the March 2022 issue of Xiaokang