A new book by sociology professor called Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone
explores the trend that is happening in affluent countries: more and more people are living alone for more and more of their lives. It could be because they don't marry, they outlive a spouse, or simply choose to live alone, but it is becoming increasingly common. There are a few reasons for this trend: greater prosperity, a social safety net which lessens many of the risks of living alone, and what Durkheim
called "the cult of the individual." Further, sociologists and psychologists are finding that there is little evidence that living alone makes people lonely. Research shows that it is the quality of social interactions, not quantity, that best predicts loneliness.