More Americans are single than ever before

WASHINGTON — This is “Unmarried and Single Americans Week,” a national recognition of what singles contribute to society.

Almost most half of all adult Americans are single, a much bigger percentage than a half century ago.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2015, there were 109 million unmarried people ages 18 and older in the nation, making up 45 percent of the adult population. In 1950, married Americans outnumbered singles by two to one.

Last year, there were 19 million U.S. residents ages 65 and older who were single, defined as never married, divorced or widowed.

More singles are living alone too. Census figures show that last year, 35 million people lived alone. That’s 28 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.

Unmarried does not always mean alone. In 2015, there were 7 million unmarried-partner households.

And more women are single. Census figures show that 53 percent of unmarried U.S. residents are women, and 47 percent are men.

The national recognition was first started by the Buckeye State Singles Council in the 1980s.


Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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