There is wide and varied debate concerning the modern trends in living and welfare, especially amongst the individual members of society that live by themselves. While many consider tales of increasing loneliness little more than an urban myth, there are various statistics that not only it as fact but also expose it an increasing phenomenon amongst many factions of the community. Statistics released in 2010 show that the number of US citizens living by themselves has risen by nearly 50 percent of the total recorded in 1990. Over this 20 year period, the trend has been for a gradual increase across many age categories, although this rise has been most prominent amongst males and females aged between 45 and 64. With so many factors having the potential to influence these statistics, it has raised the issue of whether if living alone is a considered choice or a consequence of circumstance. A Considered Choice or Consequence of Circumstance? There is a distinct parallel between these statistics and the increased rates of divorce that the US has experienced since the early 1990’s. With more and more couples enduring the emotive and unpleasant experience of divorce, there is the inevitable consequence that many individuals will retain their emotional scaring and refrain from further interest in marriage. The harbouring of such bad feeling and cynicism has a tangible and direct influence on the number of people who choose to live by themselves, deciding to live in their own space and environment without the risk of emotion pain and hardship. Though an obvious factor, this is not necessarily the most pertinent one. Other influences exist that have a more understated and indirect impact on those who live alone, from those which are widespread to those which exist in a specific age range or sub culture. This can be seen from the variation in the numbers of people who live alone in specific geographical areas of the USA, and assessing exactly how much environment and an individual’s set of circumstances influence their lifestyle choices. For example, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 2 New York apartments or households have just a single occupant. This is perhaps indicative of the busy and fast paced nature of the city, with people working and living their daily lives without necessarily finding the time to seek love or companionship. People are known to adapt their lifestyle in accordance with their city or environment of choice, and both priorities and trends in living can be influenced by settings in which they are conceived. This is also evidenced in the fact that New York boasts the largest number of operating speed dating companies and subsequent events throughout the whole country, with these services having evolved to suit consumer demand. Does Remaining Single Suit Modern Life? Aside from personal experience and circumstance, there is a wider issue that may contribute to the increase in number of those who live alone. Modern life is a fast paced and demanding entity, and the internet boom has created an instant community which demands information and satisfaction within moments rather than hours or days. Such a cultural leaning towards swift gratification has seen more and more products and services evolve to suit these needs, from a growing range of single ready made meals to online websites that mean Christmas shopping can be completed in a single afternoon without a consumer having to leave their front door. Where a society gradually changes through technological advancements and its services changes accordingly, there is an inevitable effect on people and lifestyle. A vast and variable range of ready made meals for one and an ever decreasing emphasis on personal interaction are representative of modern culture, and therefore significant influences on how people live their day to day lives. Human beings are adaptable by their nature, and while this is a trait that helps to separate people from animals, it also one that makes them more susceptible to changes in their surrounding environment (whether they are good or bad). Given these factors, it is fair to presume that the very nature of contemporary living is responsible for a fair percentage of its society that lives independently and by themselves. The Present and the Past as Conflicting Influences So while there appears to be no definitive reason why more and more people live by themselves, it seems likely that subtle and more indirect influences on lifestyle selection make more of an impact than is recognized. While divorce is an undignified and often torturous experience, it is an inevitability of forging relationships and commonly accepted by mature adults. Aspects such as the environment or changing social climates, while not as tangible or easy to quantify, are more significant in terms of how they influence people within the present. This, and the adaptable nature of the human psyche, gives clear and ample reasoning as to why more and more people are directed by circumstance into a life of solitude.