More New Zealanders are living alone and about two thirds of those doing so are divorced, separated or widowed, according to a new report.
The report by Statistics New Zealand looked at the latest available census data from 2013 and found there were 355,000 people, or about 11 percent of the country's population, living alone, almost 50,000 more than in 2001.
Statistics New Zealand social statistics manager Scott Ussher said living alone was a relatively recent trend in society, but one that was becoming increasingly common.
"You're more likely to live alone the older you get ... Around 44 percent of people who live alone are 65 years or older, and there's still a quarter of people in 2013 who lived alone [that] were 75 years or older, so it's still primarily the older, widowed or divorced people."
Mr Ussher said 50 percent of people living alone said they felt lonely, compared to 34 percent of people living with others.
The report found New Zealand European or European ethnicities had the highest rates of people living alone, whilst Pacific and Asian ethnic groups were less likely to do so.
Massey University demographer Paul Spoonley said more people living alone was not always for the best, despite a shift in attitudes towards it.
"I think there's quite an interesting debate of what the advantages or disadvantages are of living alone," Professor Spoonley said.
"Myself, I think the advantages of living alone are actually somewhat exaggerated because I think we are social people."
But Maya Jones, 35, who has been living alone since 2011, said it wasn't lonely and definitely had its perks.
"Living alone is pretty much the best thing that's ever happened to me - you're totally responsible for all your own stuff, so for example if there's dishes in the sink then you know that they're yours and you don't have to get worried about someone else not doing them."
Ms Jones said living alone had given her the freedom to do whatever she liked in her own space, which was empowering.
The report also found a gender imbalance in the statistics, with older women more likely to live alone - attributed to the difference in life expectancy between men and women.
In the period from 2012 to 2014, the life expectancy for women was just beyond 83 years - nearly four years longer than men.
Age Concern Canterbury chief executive Simon Templeton said it could be hard for older people to live on their own.
"Isolation and loneliness is a big issue for older people. Certainly the majority of people that we interact with as an agency are women because they have a longer life expectancy, so where there's a partner death later in life it is more likely to be the man."
Mr Templeton said the number of people living alone was expected to continue rising.