In recent years it has become far more normal for people to live alone, particular in big cities in the developed world. In my opinion, this trend could have both positive and negative consequences in equal measure.
The rise in one-person households can be seen as positive for both personal and broader economic reasons. On the individual level, people who choose to live alone may experience more indepent and self-reliant than those who live with family members. A young adult who lives alone, for example, will need to learn to clearn, cook, pay bills and manage his or her budget, all of which are valuable life skills; an increase in the number of such individuals can certainly be seen as a positive development. From the economic perspective, the trend towards living alone will result in greater demand for housing. This is likely to benefit the construction industry, estate agents and a whole host of other companies that rely on the houseowners buy their products or services.
However, the personal and economic arguments given above can be considered from the opposite angle. Firstly, rather than the feelings of increased independence, people who live alone may experience the feelings of loneliness, isolation and worry. They may miss out the emotional support and daily conversation that family or flatmates can provide; in this sense, the trend towards living alone is likely to be a positive one. Secondly, from the finical point of view, a rise in demand for housing is likely to push up property prices and rents, while this may benefit some businesses, the general population, including those who live alone, will be faced with rising living costs.
In conclusion, the rise in one-person households could have both beneficial and detrimental effects on individuals and on the economy.