More Americans Choose To Stay Single And Live Healthier Lifestyles, Survey Shows


There are more unmarried American adults now than there were 50 years ago, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The survey data published in August 2017 showed that single or unmarried people comprise 63.5 percent of today's adult population compared to 72 percent in 1960. The trend sparked curiosity among experts on dating behaviors and new social norms of unmarried people.

More Women Than Men

In 2016, 53.2 percent of unmarried American residents aged 18 and older were women compared to 46.8 percent men. Majority of the 110.6 million singles who were surveyed are unmarried, and some are either divorced or widowed.

The Buckeye Singles Council, which started the celebration of the National Singles Week in the 1980s, identified that unmarried people are those who were never married, widowed, or divorced.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Women's Health found that unmarried women are living healthier than ever before. They had lower body mass indices, waist sizes, and risks related to smoking and alcohol compared to married individuals.

"These findings among well-educated, predominantly non-Hispanic white women suggest that marital transitions after menopause are accompanied by modifiable health outcomes/behaviors that are more favorable for women experiencing divorce/separation than those entering a new marriage," the researchers reported led by Randa Kutob, a professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine in the University of Arizona.

Online Dating And Being Single

Technology has presented varied choices for single people to find potential partners. A 2008 study published in the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication found that unmarried individuals who browse social dating sites are likely to misremember the details of their potential partners due to the number of options.

"Large choice sets cause participants to make mating decisions that are less closely aligned with their idealized mating decisions," said the researchers from Northwestern University in their study analyzing the impacts of online dating.

While there are an increasing number of unmarried people in the United States, it does not mean that Americans have given up on love. An insight from Pew Research Center noted that love remains the most important reasons for marriage as opposed to religious affiliations, financial stability, and legal rights or benefits.

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