According to a study released by the Census Bureau that analyzed housing data across more than 170 cities across the country that have a population of at least 150,000, Washington D.C. is officially the loneliest city in the country. The study defined loneliness as the prevalence of one-person homes in each city, with higher rates of one-person homes meaning that the city was more lonely, at least according to the parameters of the study.
Why is Washington D.C. the loneliest city in America?
Well, according to the Census Bureau’s data, there are a total of 326,970 households in D.C. and nearly half of them (48.6%) are one-person households. This means that roughly 158,840 residents live alone in the District of Columbia, thus giving D.C. the title of loneliest city in the country. That being said, the study also broke down male versus female one-person households as well, and D.C. was the #2 loneliest city in America for females with 30% of women living alone, and the third loneliest city in the country for men with 27.9% of men living alone.
In addition to D.C. itself, it’s worth mentioning that some of the other cities in the DMV area are also on the 2024 list of loneliest cities in America. At #8 overall was Alexandria, which happened to be the #1 loneliest city in the country for women. A little further from D.C. but worth mentioning is also Richmond, Virginia which ranked at #10 and was immediately followed by Baltimore, which ranked as the #11 loneliest city in the country.
That being said, this doesn’t seem to be a sudden development as D.C.’s amount of one-person households hasn’t experienced any sudden spike, rather it has been consistently high for years, which is exactly why D.C. has been near the top of this list for a while now.
Why does D.C. have so many one-person households?
Well, honestly, there could be a study specifically meant to find this out in the case of D.C., but given what the data of the Census Bureau’s study suggests, it seems it’s a mixture of multiple factors. The core of these include rising housing prices and the average young family waiting longer than in the past before deciding to invest in a multi-person property together.
If you are interested in seeing what are some of the other loneliest cities in America according to this study, you can find the full list here!