Location Dynamics of Unipersonal Households in the MAIN Spanish Metropoles

Cristina López Villanueva, University of Barcelona
Isabel Pujadas-Rúbies, Universitat de Barcelona
Jenniffer Thiers-Quintana, Universitat de Barcelona

Single-person households have acquired a major role in urban areas, and new lifestyles have diversified the composition of this form of residence in Spain that had been linked to aging.

The spatial distribution of single person households and the characteristics of people living alone is not homogeneous within urban spaces. Large cities, and especially their historical centres, concentrate the greatest proportion of single person households. This is not only due to population structure but also because they are the preferred location for young and adult people living alone.

The aim of this paper is to study single person household territorial specialization at a intra-metropolitan level (scale which is scarcely used in this type of analysis) in the five largest metropolitan areas of Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Bilbao. Research highlights internal differences within each city and within their metropolitan areas. More specifically, it examines where are single person households of youths (18-35 years), adults (36-64 years) and elderly people (> 65 years) situated, at an infra-municipal scale. This is done by developing a location quotient allowing to classify territorial units into sub-, low, average and high concentration areas of single person households of each type. The main source used is the 2011 Spanish Census micro-data, complemented by the 2001 Census.

Results show that single person household location patterns have changed, as young and elderly people have different residential location preferences in the city. Centric neighbourhoods and renewed and transformed urban areas are presently reserved to young single people –this has caused the displacement of elderly people.

Keywords: single person households, intra-metropolitan territorial distribution metropolitan regions

Funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Ref. CSO2015-65219-C2-1-R and CSO2013-48075-C2-1-R

Presented in Poster Session 2