The Single-Serving Size Reality

Comments Off on The Single-Serving Size Reality
The Single-Serving Size Reality

For the first time in U.S. history, there are more households headed by single adults than by married people. According to the U.S. Census, 50.3 percent of the 111 million American households now consist of unmarried people.1

The percentage of single people varies by geographic region. In one county in Utah, according to a report on NBC News, married couples account for 70 percent of households, compared to 26 percent in New York City, which has the highest percentage of single households in the country.

Over the past half-century, marriage rates in the U.S. have been falling rapidly. According to the Census, in 2005 only 55 percent of men were married, compared to 70 percent in 1960. Only 51.5 percent of women were married in 2005, versus 66 percent in 1960.2 Overall, according to Bella DePaulo, a psychology professor and author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After,3 there are 87 million single people in the U.S., and the average American spends more of his or her adult life single than married.

One reason is that the people who choose to marry are waiting longer to tie the knot. The Census estimates that the median age at first marriage for men is 27.1, up 3.6 years in the past 30 years; for women, it is 25.3, up 4.2 years. Another factor is that people are living longer, which inevitably leads to more people spending more years as widows or widowers. These older people have greater financial security than in the past, so they can afford to live alone when a spouse dies. Finally, with the old stigma of divorce gone, many people find themselves technically single as they transition from one marriage to another.

According to a report from the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, the reasons for the decline in marriages include waiting longer to marry for the first time, the increase in cohabitation without marriage, and a slight decrease in the number of divorced people who get married again. Another factor is the increased economic power of working women, who no longer need a husband’s income to afford a home of their own.

One reason why there are more single women than single men is that women live longer, on average; also more men than women remarry at advanced ages. To eliminate these factors, The New York Times4 looked at marriage rates among Americans in the 35-to-44 age group. The analysis showed a similarly steep decline: In 2005, 66 percent of men were married, down from 88 percent in 1960, while 67 percent of women were married, compared to 87 percent in 1960...

To continue reading, become a paid subscriber for full access.
Already a Trends Magazine subscriber? Login for full access now.

Subscribe for as low as $195/year

  • Get 12 months of Trends that will impact your business and your life
  • Gain access to the entire Trends Research Library
  • Optional Trends monthly CDs in addition to your On-Line access
  • Receive our exclusive "Trends Investor Forecast 2015" as a free online gift
  • If you do not like what you see, you can cancel anytime and receive a 100% full refund