Why single people in Norway may have a lower quality of life

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 2 Feb, 2023 Updated Thu 2 Feb 2023 15:52 CEST
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Figures show that single people in Norway were more likely to have a lower quality of life. Pictured is a person in Lofoten.

A recent analysis of the quality of life in Norway found that those without a partner were likelier to report a lower living standing.


Single men are more likely to have a lower quality of life than other groups, according to a recent analysis from the national data agency,  .

The reason why single men were more dissatisfied with life compared to single women is that they were less satisfied with their social relationships.

"The quality of life survey shows that social relationships are important for the quality of life. Single people have a poorer quality of life than those with a partner, and single men, in particular, are less satisfied with their social relationships compared to single women," the analysis reads.

Statistics Norway explained the difference in the quality of life between singles and those in relationship was due to those outside of a relationship not having as many people to confide in.


"The quality of life is affected by one's social relationships. Having someone to confide in, get support from, and share everyday life with is considered positive for the quality of life. One's attachment to others varies throughout one's life, and among the young and the elderly, for example, there are more singles. It is reasonable to assume that those who cohabitate have access to close social relationships to a greater extent than single people," the report reads.

In addition to having a perceived lower quality of life than those in relationships, single people tended to have poorer living conditions than those without a partner or spouse that they lived with.

While not stated in the report, one reason for the lower living conditions could be explained by not having a significant other to split the rent or a mortgage with.

Single people account for around 40 percent of the population in Norway, only including those over 18.

There is a more significant proportion of single women than men due to there being more elderly single women than there are men.

Just under 40 percent of single people aged between 18 and 29 and 45 and 66 said they were unsatisfied with life. However, from the retirement age, this figure shrinks. Singles aged between 30 and 44 were the most unhappy with life, with some 44 percent reporting that they were dissatisfied.

The report also found that single men were less optimistic about the future than single women.

"Other quality of life indicators show that especially single men in the 30-44 age group are also less optimistic about the future and experience less meaning in life than women in the same life phase do," the report reads.


Statistics Norway believes that single women having a more robust social network was a reason why they were happier than single men.

"On the one hand, it may be that more women choose to live alone and are therefore more satisfied with their situation. On the other hand, it may also be that women establish mechanisms for social satisfaction to a greater extent than men, both as single and non-single. It is, for example, a common notion that women, to a greater extent than men, have friends they can confide in. Having someone to talk to and share challenges can in itself have a positive effect on one's quality of life," the report wrote.

It also wrote that single women being more likely to have children was also a factor in their higher quality of life.



Frazer Norwell 2023/02/02 15:52

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