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Singles Scene News
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Scottsdale AZ 85271
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SINGLE IN AMERICA 2002 Singles are nearly half of households; singles waiting longer to marry
by Janet Jacobsen
Sept 2002

What follows is a “profile” of singles in American today, drawn primarily from information from the Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics.

Today singles make up 47% of all households in the country, compared to 24% in 1970. Single-parent families also grew, from 6 percent of all households in 1970 to 16 percent by 1998. According to a U.S. Department of Commerce report, while singles earned 17% of the aggregate household income in 1970, by 1990 they accounted for 30% of income.

The life expectancy for American women today is 79 years and 74 years for men. In the U.S. in 2000 there were approximately 140 million females and 134 million males.

The ratio of single men to women in the U.S., by age group, is 105 males per 100 women under age 20; ages 20-44 98 per 100; for 45-54, 95; for 55-64, 92 per 100; for 65-74, 83 per 100, for 75-84, 70 per 100, and for those age 85 and older, there are 50 men for every 100 women. This represents a substantial gain in the ratio of men in most age groups.

LIFESTYLES

Among singles ages 18-34, 32% of men and 23.6% of women still live “at home.”

Nearly 13.3% of Americans age 18 and over - 26 million - live alone, compared to about 11 million in 1970. Of total households 25.8% are people living alone. From 1970 to 1996 the number of women living alone doubled and the number of men living alone tripled.

Married couples with children under 18 make up only 23.5% of households in American today, compared to 40% in 1970.

MARRIAGE & DIVORCE

The average age at first marriage is 27 for men and 25 for women, a figure comparable to what it was 100 years ago. In 1970 the average age at first marriage was 23 for men and 21 for women.

In late 2001, the annual marriage rate was 8.5 per 1000 population, and the divorce rate was 4.0. While the divorce rate has been relatively stable for a number of years, the marriage rate has fallen.

Based on 1996 figures, first mar-riages that end in divorce last an average 8 years. The average time between first and second marriages is three years. Second marriages that end in divorce last an average 7 years. About 3% of adults have been married three or more times.

Among those 65 and older, 15% of men and 45% of women are currently widowed.