The Increase in the Prevalence of One-Person Households in Turkey: by Circumstances or by Choices?
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The world has witnessed various social, economic, and cultural changes until today. New norms and lifestyles have been replaced with traditional ones over time. The transition from the periods when the family institution was essential to the times when people tend to live more individually has been visible since the last century, especially in the second demographic transition period. With the demographic effects of the changes, fertility began to decline, and the tendency to cohabitation and separation gained momentum. In Turkey, while the share of extended and multi-child nuclear families has diminished, one-parent and single-person households have increased from the middle of the 20th century. The main focuses of the study are to reveal the characteristics of one-person households and to find out the differences between people living alone due to choices and circumstances. In this respect, modernization and developmental idealism approaches were employed to rationalize the change in family structure and prevalence of one-person households. Besides, descriptive and multivariate analyzes were applied to attain the determinant factors. After a set of analyzes, essential findings were obtained regarding the distribution of one-person households in Turkey. While the tendency to live alone has a crucial representation among women, especially among elderly widowed women, the proportion of men living alone has also increased over time. Furthermore, young, never-married, and divorced persons in one-person households have become more common over the last two decades. Finally, the literature about one-person households and the outputs of analyses figure out that solo living becomes more common in Turkey through social, economic, cultural, and demographic transition stages. Following the theoretical approaches, the tendency of the younger, well-educated, never-married people to live alone becomes visible. Thus, it can be argued that the rationale behind living alone is parallel to Turkey's modernization path and examined detailly in this study.