Living alone is the rule in Germany. The Federal Statistical Office recorded around 17.6 million single-person households in 2019. This made them “the most common type of household in Germany, even ahead of two-person households (13.8 million),” as the authority announced in November 2020. The trend is clearly towards living alone: ”The proportion of single-person households increased from 34 percent to 42 percent between 1991 and 2019.”
People living alone in Germany
Here are some facts about people living alone in Germany:
- Among the almost 8.5 million men living alone, the largest group (38 percent) was between 20 and 39 years old.
- With around nine million women, however, the 60 to 79 year olds formed the largest age group (34 percent)
- About half of the people in single-person households are single (8.9 million), 4.2 million are widowed, 3.3 million are divorced and 1.1 million are married but separated.
- 42 percent of those living alone were in large cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
People living alone are particularly isolated in the hard lockdown. On the other hand, the risk of infection may be lower for them and they usually have more living space.
Most people in these federal states live alone.
@imago images / Dirk Sattler
# 10 Brandenburg
The tenth largest federal state in terms of population was also ranked the same for single people in 2019. The Federal Statistical Office recorded around 499,000 singles in one-person households. There were 260,000 women and 239,000 men.
@imago images / robertharding
# 9 Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein had 594,000 people living alone (310,000 women, 284,000 men), making it ninth nationwide.
@imago images / Jochen Tack
# 8 Rhineland-Palatinate
In 2019, comparatively few singles lived alone in Rhineland-Palatinate. Measured by the number of inhabitants, the federal state was in sixth place, but only came eighth among the single people: 719,000 (381,000 women, 338,000 men).
@imago images / Dennis Hetzschold
# 7 Saxony
In 2019, Saxony had slightly fewer inhabitants than Rhineland-Palatinate, but significantly more people living alone. In a nationwide comparison, the state came in seventh with 949,000 people (487,000 women, 463,000 men – differences result from rounding).
@imago images / imagebroker
# 6 Berlin
In terms of the total number of inhabitants, Berlin only ranks eighth among the federal states. However, as a metropolis, the city-state has a particularly large number of singles. Berlin is the first federal state to reach one million people living alone. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the value was 1.1 million (535,000 women, 524,000 men) in 2019.
@imago images / Marcel Lorenz
# 5 Hessen
In 2019, Hesse took fifth place with almost 1.3 million singles in one-person households (656,000 women, 598,000 men).
@imago images / Jochen Tack
# 4 Lower Saxony
In Lower Saxony, around 1.6 million single people did not share an apartment with anyone in 2019. There were 839,000 women and 787,000 men.
@imago images / Panthermedia
# 3 Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg was the first federal state with over two million people living alone (2.1 million – 1.1 million women, 1.0 million men).
@imago images / Sven Simon
# 2 Bavaria
Bavaria took second place in the single-person ranking. The statisticians counted 2.6 million singles in one-person households (1.3 million women, 1.2 million men). However, this meant that the Free State was far from the front runner.
@imago images / Future Image
# 1 North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s stronghold for single apartments. In 2019 there were almost as many people living alone as Berlin has inhabitants: 3.5 million people (1.9 million women, 1.7 million men).