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Newsroom Archive

Facts for Features
Aug. 26, 2011

Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 18-24, 2011

“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. 18-24 in 2011) 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

Source for statements in this section: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2010
<https://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html> Tables A1 and A2

99.6 million

Number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2010. This group comprised 43.6 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.


Percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older who were women.


Percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older who had never been married. Another 23.8 percent were divorced, and 14.4 percent were widowed.

16.4 million

Number of unmarried U.S. residents 65 and older. The elderly comprised 16.5 percent of all unmarried and single people 18 and older.


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

59.1 million

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

31.4 million

Number of people who lived alone. They comprised 27 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.



Percentage of women age 15 to 50 with a birth in the last 12 months, as of 2009, who were widowed, divorced or never married.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/> Data Profile, Social Characteristics

11.7 million

Number of single parents living with their children in 2010. Of these, 9.9 million were single mothers and 1.8 million were single fathers.
Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2010
<https://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html> Tables FG5


Percentage of opposite-sex, unmarried-partner households that included at least one biological child of either partner.
Source: Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2010
<https://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2010.html> Table UC3


Number of unmarried grandparents who were caregivers for their grandchildren in 2009. They comprised about three in 10 grandparents who were responsible for their grandchildren.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/> Table B10057

Unmarried Couples

6.5 million

Number of unmarried-partner households in 2009. Of this number, 581,300 were same-sex households.
Source: 2009 American Community Survey <http://factfinder2.census.gov/> Table B11009



The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2007. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed nearly 3,125 people and generated $928 million in revenues.
Source: 2007 Economic Census <http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IBQTable?_bm=y&-ds_name=EC0781A1& -NAICS2007=8129902&-ib_type=NAICS2007&-geo_id=01000US&-_industry=8129902&-_lang=en& -fds_name=EC0700A1>



Percentage of voters in the 2008 presidential election who were unmarried.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of 2008
<https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/publications/p20/2008/tables.html> Table 11



Percentage of unmarried people 25 and older in 2010 who had a high school diploma or more.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010
<https://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/education/cps2010.html> Table 2


Percentage of unmarried people 25 and older in 2010 with a bachelor's degree or more education.
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010
<https://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/education/cps2010.html> Table 2

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)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • 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>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: May 19, 2016