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Single minded; Why more women are choosing to live alone into their 30s rather than settle down and have a family.


THE traditional family make-up of two parents and a couple of children seems to be a thing of the past as more people than ever before are choosing to live alone.

Almost 900,000 of the 2.4million households in Scotland contain someone living by themselves.

It is now more common to find a one-person household than any other type.

Whether it's young adults flying the nest, career-focused single women, divorcees or widows, more of us are coming home to an empty house.

There are 405,000 men and 466,000 women living solo in Scotland - a record high for both sexes - and the numbers have been steadily rising for more than a decade.

They account for 36 per cent of households, compared with 30 per cent where two people cohabit.

IProfessor Robert Wright, of Strathclyde University said: "The growth is quite spectacular and it looks set to continue.

and am "Living alone is much more affordable now than it was previously and more and more young people are leaving the what parental home at an early age and settling into an independent and happy life by themselves.

"You can buy privacy and a lot of people want that."

The National Records of Scotland said there has been an average increase of 20,000 one-person households a year.

The good news is that living alone has its benefits - 47 per cent of people living solo said they are "very happy with life", had a better social life and did less housework.

Businesswoman Sonia Scott MacKay is in no rush to give up living solo. Sonia, 44, from Glasgow, spent much of her late 20s and 30s building up her talent agency business and says the timing has never felt right to settle down.

She said: "I don't have any regrets about living alone. I've always been career-focused and over the years I've really grown to enjoy my own space.

"After a busy day at work, it's nice to come home to some peace and quite. I have a hectic career and busy social life and never feel like I'm missing out. I never set out to be single without kids but it's just something that happened.

"I've lived with boyfriends in the past but for one reason or another it never worked out and I've ended up on my own."

Sonia, who runs All Talent The Sonia Scott Agency, added: "I don't think women should rush into settling down just because they turn 30.

"Every woman is different and you've got to do what feels right for you. It's not something I'm worried about. If I don't meet someone then I'll still lead a happy and fulfilling life."

Sonia admitted a lot of her friends who settled down in their 20s and divorced in their 40s now enjoy living alone.

She said: "Years ago, women were under pressure to settle down and start a family.

"Some of my friends are loving living alone and can see why I enjoy it so much. Now that I've achieved my career goal, I feel ready to settle down if Mr Right comes along.

"Living alone means I don't have to answer to anyone and can come and go as I please.

"I don't get lonely at all. I find things to do and can easily entertain myself with TV, reading and music.

"I have a very happy and fulfilled life and don't feel like I'm missing out."

I have a hectic career and a busy social life and never feel I am missing out. You've got to do what feels right


CHOICE Many women are choosing the single life, top, ahead of the stresses of raising a family, above

NO TIES Sonia loves the freedom of living alone. Picture: Alasdair Macleod
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 17, 2015
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