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More Than Half Single: 50.2 Percent of Americans Over 16 Are Unattached

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 08:00 AM

More than half of Americans over the age of 16 are now single.

According to Bloomberg News, that's 124.6 million citizens — 50.2 percent of the nation — and a first-ever occurrence since the government began compiling demographic data in 1976.

Back in '76, only 37 percent of people were single, but that number has edged up over the long term, and likely have something to do with dance floor hits like Beyonce's "Single Ladies." The percentage of bachelors and bachelorettes hovered just below 50 percent through July, and crossed the threshold into majority status this past August.

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The shift will likely have major implications on both a micro- and macro-economic scale. Moreover, the president of Yardeni Research Inc. in New York, economist Edward Yardeni, said in a new report titled "Selfies" that it will also have implications for society and politics.

First and foremost, non-marrieds tend to be childless, meaning that while they don't have the benefit of having the disposable income that comes with being in a double-income-no-kids partnership (DINKs), they similarly don't bear any costs of child-rearing.

"While they have less household earnings than married people, they also have fewer expenses, especially if there are no children in their households," Yardeni said in the report.

The Ventured and Gained blog reported that these single men and women are also more likely to rent than own their apartments and homes, and face challenges borne of coupling later on in life. Many who marry in their 30s, for example, find themselves hit with a savings crisis as they plan for 3 major life steps: kids, home ownership, and retirement planning. By their 40s, they'll need to plan for increased healthcare costs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the percentage of adults who have never married has increased from 22 to 30 percent over the same time period, and those divorced, separated, or widowed increased from 15 to 19 percent.

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More than half of Americans over the age of 16 are now single.
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2014-00-10
Wednesday, 10 Sep 2014 08:00 AM
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