3.6 million one-person households in 2050

The number of one-person households will have mounted up to 3.6 million in 2050, an increase by 1 million compared to the current situation. Over the next two decades, the annual increase will be 30 to 40 thousand. Most of these people will be 65 or older. Subsequently, the growth will slow down.

Types of households

Types of households

Dutch population is ageing and individualising

The increase in the number of people living alone can largely be attributed to the ageing process in the Dutch population. After 2011, people belonging to the generations born straight after the Second World War will become 65. Older people, more often than young people, stay behind alone, because their partners will die or move to a care-providing institution. The number of over-65s living alone is anticipated to grow by more than 850 thousand in 2050.

There will also be a marginal increase in young and middle-aged people living alone, because people start living together later in life and cohabiting couples sooner and more often split up.

People living alone by age category

People living alone by age category

Nearly half of households will consist of one person by 2050

In 2050, about 44 percent of Dutch households will consist of one person, as against more than one third nowadays. The number of one-parent families will also grow slightly, to over half a million in 2050. The proportion of one-parent families will remain steady at 6 percent.

Number of couples will decline after 2025

The number of households consisting of a couple with or without children will rise somewhat in the period leading up to 2025. After 2025, it will decline annually. By 2050, half of all households in the Netherlands will consist of couples with(out) children. There will be 4 million couples, i.e. 140 thousand fewer than in 2009.

With 8.3 million, the overall number of households in the Netherlands will peak in 2038, followed by a gradual decline in the years thereafter.

Elma van Agtmaal-Wobma and Coen van Duin