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Facts and Statistics on Unmarried and Single Americans

  • Published: 2010-09-13 : Author: U.S. Census Bureau
  • Synopsis: Many unmarried Americans do not identify with the word single because they are parents have partners or are widowed.

Main Document

Census Bureau News - Facts for Features - Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 19-25, 2010.

"National Singles Week" was started by the Buckeye Singles Council in Ohio in the 1980s to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society.

The week is now widely observed during the third full week of September (Sept. 19-25 in 2010) as "Unmarried and Single Americans Week," an acknowledgment that many unmarried Americans do not identify with the word "single" because they are parents, have partners or are widowed. In this edition of Facts for Features, unmarried people include those who were never married, widowed, or divorced, unless otherwise noted.

Single Life

96.6 million - Number of unmarried Americans 18 and older in 2009. This group comprised 43 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.

53% - Percentage of unmarried Americans 18 and older who were women.

61% - Percentage of unmarried Americans 18 and older who had never been married. Another 24 percent were divorced, and 15 percent were widowed.

16.2 million - Number of unmarried Americans 65 and older. These older Americans comprised 17 percent of all unmarried and single people 18 and older.

88 - Number of unmarried men 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States.

52.5 million - Number of households maintained by unmarried men or women. These households comprised 45 percent of households nationwide.

31.7 million - Number of people who lived alone. They comprised 27 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970. Source for statements in this section: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2009 Tables A1 and A2


33% - Percentage of women age 15 to 50 with a birth in the last 12 months, as of 2006, who either were widowed, divorced or never married. About 199,000 were living with an unmarried partner. Source: Fertility of American Women: 2006

11.6 million - Number of single parents living with their children in 2009. Of these, 9.9 million were single mothers and 1.7 million were single fathers. Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2009 Tables FG5

38% - Percentage of opposite-sex, unmarried-partner households that included at least one biological child of either partner. Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2009 Table UC3

766,000 - Number of unmarried grandparents who were caregivers for their grandchildren in 2008. They comprised about three in 10 grandparents who were responsible for their grandchildren. Source: 2008 American Community Survey

Unmarried Couples

6.2 million - Number of unmarried-partner households in 2008. Of this number, 565,000 were same-sex. Source: 2008 American Community Survey


904 - The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2002. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed nearly 4,300 people and generated $489 million in revenues. Source: 2002 Economic Census


38% - Percentage of voters in the 2008 presidential election who were unmarried. Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008


84% - Percentage of unmarried people 25 and older in 2009 who had a high school diploma or more. Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009

24% - Percentage of unmarried people 25 and older in 2009 with a bachelor's degree or more education. Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009 Table 2

Note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error.

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