More than a quarter of households in Las Vegas consist of just one person, living by themselves.

At first glance, you might think many of those households are single or widowed retirees, but that's only 32.5 percent of the group.

In increasing numbers, people are – either by choice or by necessity – living alone.

But, a recent article in New York magazine suggests that living alone may have hidden dangers, and can be damaging for mental health.

The author of the article, Sandra Tsing Loh, told KNPR’s State of Nevada that women are living alone and loving it.

“To them it is freedom. It is the freedom to eat what they want when they want. Go to the movies and not answer to anyone or clean up after anyone,” Loh said.

But she points out, many men do not want to live alone which may be because women are better at establishing and maintaining personal connections.

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But it could also be a matter of how Las Vegas is put together to make people feel more alone, when they live alone.

Speed date organizer Sam Pocker believes it is much easier to be around people and feel connected to people when he lived in New York City.

“It’s a rolling cocktail party all the time,” Pocker said.

Loh agrees that areas like Las Vegas and Southern California where the car is king can lead people to a feeling of being cut off.  

“It is about being aware how your job or occupation or city has perhaps made you feel more lonely than you need and assessing that,” Loh said.

Loh said that one of the biggest problems with living alone is what she called “circular thinking,” where people become too focused on news stories like the Islamic State and the Ebola outbreak.

Copyright 2015 KNPR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.knpr.org/.
Guests

Sandra Tsing Loh, commentator and author, "Does Living Alone Drive You Mad?"; LeeAnn Elias, page designer, Las Vegas Sun; Sam Pocker, a recent Las Vegas transplant

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