Atlantans are likelier to live alone than residents of virtually any other major U.S. city, with nearly half of Atlanta’s households having just one person, according to a census analysis released this week. A decade ago, Atlanta wasn’t even in the Top 10; now it shares the No. 1 spot with Washington.

The change — from 38.5 percent of Atlanta households in 2000 to 44 percent in 2010 — is significant, demographers say. They attribute it to a number of factors, namely: the mobility of single professionals seeking work in the city; the plethora of new condo and apartment homes for people who want to live alone; and the declining marriage rate.

“Atlanta has been a magnet for young professionals, black and white, for many years,” said Harvey Newman, professor of public policy at Georgia State University. “[Many] come here as young adults to go to school, they come here for job opportunities and they stay … and don’t get married until later, if at all.”

The recession slowed that trend, but didn’t stop it, he said.

The phenomenon includes more than the young and restless. The data on 1-person households includes people who are divorced or widowed, older people who have never married, and even married people living apart.

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