It’s National Unmarried & Single Americans Week

betty ming liu Relationships 12 Comments

Yeah, really — we’ve got a thing called National Unmarried & Single Americans Week. Granted, this is not a jazzy-sounding event. But hey, I’ll take it anyway. Single folks, we deserve the attention!

And I could use a pat on the back right now. There is so much that I do all by my onesome, just to get through the day. I slog through the bills alone, keep up the maintenance of my house alone and spend many hours talking to myself. Let’s hear it for being single and unmarried!

If you’re never heard of this week, you’re not alone — haha. Our calendar is filled with all sorts of national weeks to acknowledge. Why, September alone (haha again) brings us everything from National Clean Hands Week and National Payroll Week to Suicide Prevention Week and National Love Your Files Week. For a look at the possibilities, here’s a website that lists national weekly celebrations (but somehow manages to miss National Unmarried & Single Americans Week).

This week is sponsored by a group called Unmarried America, which I’ve never heard of. I actually found out about this week from the U.S. Census, which has taken the occasion to put out a list of all the interesting facts related to us single and unmarried folks. The rundown of stats from the government is quite interesting:

FACT: The U.S. has 99.6 million people over the age of 18 who are not married — 43.6 percent of the entire population.

FACT: 44.9 percent of the unmarrieds are women.

FACT: 61 percent of the folks over 18 who are not married have never been married, while 23.8 percent are divorced and 14.4 percent are widowed.

FACT: There are 88 unmarried men for every 100 unmarried women.

FACT: 31.4 million people live alone, accounting for 27 percent of all American households.

FACT: 11.7 million single parents live with their children; 9.9 million of them are single moms and 1.8 million are single dads.

If perusing data amuses you, the Census has more stuff you can read through.

Putting this out here for you now is somehow comforting for me…this is one of those moments were there is emotional safety in the numbers.

We are not alone.    :)


Comments 12

  1. Maybe I’m misinterpreting the data, but something doesn’t add up.
    “44.9 percent of the unmarrieds are women,” which means 55.1 percent of the unmarried are men. But for every 100 unmarried women there are only 88 unmarried men? If the first statement is true, shouldn’t there be more unmarried men than unmarried women?
    Also, 99.6 million adults are unmarried, but only 31.4 million people live alone. Accounting for the 11.7 million single parents who live with their children, there are still around 56.5 million people who are unmarried but not living alone. There can’t be 50+ million adults living with their parents, so does that mean most of the 56 million are in a long term relationship/common law marriage and cohabiting with someone? If so, they really shouldn’t be included in the “singles” category (not married but living together long term may also apply to homosexual couples; not quite fair to just group them all into the “singles” category). Plus the growing trend of couples cohabiting and not feeling the need for a legal marriage may be more of a contributor to the growing number of unmarried people than the growing number of people who are comfortable being single.
    Overall, interesting post, but I find the data somewhat disingenuous. It’s probably more logical to only include data from everyone age 25 and up, not age 18 and up. Being 18 and unmarried doesn’t mean much. Not many people marry right out of high school, nor does anyone expect them to. If anyone is trying to see if there’s a shift in opinion/ lifestyle regarding marriage, it’s not really helpful to gather data about teenagers. So kids in college are not getting married; that’s hardly a trend. Including age groups that can’t even drink legally only skews the data. Also take into account that more and more people are pursuing higher education after high school, and most people prefer to graduate/get a job before marrying. And with the rising cost of living in the city (where most young people flock to), it may take longer to be financially secure. This cuts down on the number of people marrying right out of high school or in their early 20s. So to really find out if Americans are embracing the single life more, the survey shouldn’t include 18-25 year olds. Those data just prove that a lot of young people are single, which everyone already knows. I wonder if any organization has done a more comprehensive research that surveys a slightly older demographic and disqualify anyone who is cohabiting with a long term partner. Then we can really see if there’s a trend of more Americans pursuing a more independent lifestyle.

  2. A National Love Your Files week? Just when I thought I had seen and heard it all!!

    Question: instead of the facts that the Census gives about this group, are there activities or events for the population? Specifically, I thought about the unmarried widows and support groups. There are so many singles by choice or by circumstance and I’m sure their needs are different. And, there are bound to be single people who want to stay single. Does this week celebrate staying single or encouragement for those looking for relationships in the future.

    I think marriage can be great, but so can any stage in life!

  3. Wow very interesting statistics ! One thing I used to hear on the news about living single is;
    “single people living alone have a shorter lifespan and acquire more health related issues than people who are married”

    Idon’t think this is correct as my friends that are single are more active eat healthier and have friends in their life they talk to and spend time with together. From what I’ve seen from the married people I know is their circle of friends are small mostly consisting of their wife or husbands family and a few friends that didn’t disappear once they tied the knot. Maybe it’s just me but I think single people are more happier about life in general but I suppose when you’re married you worry more about hardships that can happen in life such as loss of a job relationship issues etc..
    Anyhow it’s just my observations if anyone is happy and married I’m Happy for the too.

  4. Sorry for the type mistakes!!

    It’s “I don’t” in the first paragraph and;

    “Anyhow it’s just my observations if anyone is happy and married I’m Happy for THEM too.”

    There, that’s better lol

  5. Nice read Betty. I think national singles week is the week for me. Lately I’ve been wanting a lot more me time, and not wanting to devote it to someone else. I just don’t feel the need to dedicate every waking moment to making sure someone else is good, when I’m still trying to get there myself.

    I bet this week isn’t recognized because the United States has this way of pushing traditional values upon people. If your not married by a certain age, or in a relationship at least, with some children, than your wrong people’s eye’s. You’re not living the American dream I guess. Well I guess I’m not but I would much rather be living my dreams than attempting to accept someone else’s.

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    I’ve been gone all day looking at colleges with my daughter (she’s a high school senior). But I’m back now!

    Let’s start with Katie — thanks for reading with such care. I just wanted to give you an overall feel for where singles and unmarrieds are! But you can get answers to all your questions if you read the Census link in my post & this one: The Census actually has analysts on hand who can answer all your questions and help you match up apples with apples and oranges with oranges. Me, all I wanted was to present a fruit salad. :)

    Skye, these national whatever weeks are ridiculous! Just marketing ploys. But as you can see, they can sometimes be funny. As for where these groups can meet, I also suggest going to the website and see what groups are out there. The range is amazing.

    Walter, no worries about spelling or typing but nice of you to fix anyway. As for those studies about the shorter lives of singles, I wonder what researchers would find if they did a fresh study today. And what if they interviewed singles with pets — those are loving relationships that might be more supportive and loving than some marriages!

    Jamal! How nice to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by. I can see where you might be too busy to love someone right now. But what if it was someone who was adding to the fullness of your life instead of being a bother? Of course, a real relationship, even a great one, has its tough moments — yet should be worth it. And until that comes along for either you or me, we are better off on our own. Enjoy the week!

    Yes, Charlotte, it’s really nice for all of us to have options. And I also like living in a time when being single has lost some of its stigma. :)

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