July 14, 2024 | 3:46


Bilbotarras want to live alone

Mairenis Gomez

June 14, 2024 | 5:46 pm

The increase in single-person households in Bilbao: a look at the data and causes

Living alone is becoming the norm for many in Bilbao. The annual report of Municipal Housing Bilbao confirms that households with single-member cohabiting units are an increasing trend. This phenomenon reflects profound changes in the social structure and city ​​demographic, and deserves special attention to understand the reasons behind this transformation.

The aging of the population and the figure of the single as a coexistence unit

One of the most influential factors in this trend is the aging of the population, which leaves many people widowed. Added to this is the increase in couples who decide to separate and the growing number of individuals who choose not to couple. This combination of sociological and demographic factors is emphasizing the figure of the single as a coexistence unit.

Data from Municipal Housing of Bilbao that corroborate the current reality

The data from Bilbao Municipal Housing are conclusive, 60,6% of those awarded a flat in the public real estate stock intend to live alone, while 17,68% do so in families of two members. The organization's annual report reveals that last year 8.691 Bilbao residents lived in one of the 4.223 homes belonging to the City Council, that is, 2,5% of the population of Bilbao.

Yolanda Díez, Housing Councilor, confirms this change in trend, “Before families of 4 or 5 members lived there and now there is only one person for the same homes. “We have to make homes smaller and smaller because there are no families.”. In addition, he has pointed out that many of the elderly people who live alone have resided in these homes for decades.

The profile of the successful bidders and the implications for the real estate market

It is not only the elderly who seek to live alone. Those under 35 years old already represent 46% of the total winners of Municipal Housing. Many young people request these homes due to the impossibility of accessing the free market. Iñigo Villaroya, director of Municipal Housing, has reaffirmed that those under 35 years of age are a group with preferential allocation. During the annual balance, Díez explained that Bilbao continues to be the city in the State with the highest number of protected municipal homes per person: one for every 82 inhabitants.

he increase in single-person households in Bilbao: a look at the data and causes

The defense of the right to decent housing and the future of the real estate stock

In addition, Díez has stressed the importance of defending the right to decent housing for all people. This includes taking into account energy efficiency, sustainability and accessibility criteria. Of the entire municipal housing stock, 86 were temporary accommodation and 112 were adapted homes. In addition, they had 893 premises, 366 garages and 73 storage rooms. The real estate stock is distributed in seven of the eight districts and 23 neighborhoods. Otxarkoaga-Txurdinaga (1.573) and Ibaiondo (1.002) are the ones with the most homes.

In short, the growing number of single-person households in Bilbao reflects profound changes in the social structure of the city.. The aging of the population and the difficulty of young people in accessing housing on the free market are key factors in this trend. Municipal authorities must continue to adapt to these realities, guaranteeing access to decent and adequate housing for all.

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