Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Newsroom

Skip top of page navigation
Facts for Features
CB09-FF.18
July 21, 2009

Unmarried and Single Americans Week
Sept. 20-26, 2009

"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. 20-26 in 2009) 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

95.9 million

Number of unmarried Americans 18 and older in 2008. 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.

15.8 million

Number of unmarried Americans 65 and older. These older Americans comprised 16 percent of all unmarried and single people 18 and older.

87

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

52.9 million

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

32.2 million

Number of people who lived alone. They comprised 28 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.

Source for statements in this section: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2008
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb09-29.html>

Parenting

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
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb08-125.html>

11.6 million

Number of single parents living with their children in 2008. Of these, 9.8 million were single mothers.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2008
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb09-29.html>

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: 2008
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/families_households/cb09-29.html>

743,000

Number of unmarried grandparents who were caregivers for their grandchildren in 2007. They comprised about three in 10 grandparents who were responsible for their grandchildren.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey
<http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>

Unmarried Couples

6.2 million

Number of unmarried-partner households in 2007. These included 5.5 million of the opposite sex.
Source: 2007 American Community Survey
<http://www.census.gov/acs/www/>

Dating

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
<http://www.census.gov/econ/census02/guide/SUBSUMM.HTM>

Voters

38%

Percentage of voters in the 2008 presidential election who were unmarried.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/voting/cb09-110.html>

Education

84%

Percentage of unmarried people 25 and older in 2008 who were high school graduates.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-66.html>

24%

Percentage of unmarried people 25 and older in 2008 with a bachelor's degree or more education.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008
<http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/education/cb09-66.html>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: August 28, 2014