U.S.

Why Half Of America Is Single

New data shows singles make up the majority of the adult U.S. population for the first time since the government began tracking the data in 1976.

Why Half Of America Is Single
David Robert Bliwas / CC BY 2.0
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The proposal.

Walking down the aisle. 

Growing old together. Ahhh ... oh, wait — that's a movie. (Video via New Line Cinema / "The Notebook")

And according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for Americans, the movies is where the urge to seal the deal is staying. For the first time ever, single people are no longer in the minority.

ABC: "Singles now represent just over half of the population compared to only 37 percent of the population back in 1976." 

HLN: "Experts say part of the reason is that we are just waiting longer to get married." 

Now, waiting to get married isn't exactly a new trend. Many outlets reported on the phenomenon back in 2013.  

So ABC asks, "Why wait?" The answer seems to be a change in priorities. "There are several reasons. First, more than twice as many women are going to college than 30 years ago. Second, many women are putting their careers first, so they can put some money in the bank before settling down."

Fear of divorce also plays a role. Today about 19.8 percent of the population has been divorced. 

But there's not just the "why" to think about when it comes to the findings. According to economists, there are notable implications on the economy when it comes to a population that is mostly single. 

KTVK: "Economists say it will be bad for our economy because single people tend to spend less money. ... I would think it'd be just the opposite because you have to look really good." 

Well, that's not a bad point. But one economist explained to Bloomberg, "While they have less household earnings than married people, they also have fewer expenses, especially if there are no children in their households." 

And a writer for TheBlaze points out"The anti-marriage trend could lead to a demographic crisis, such as what Japan is currently facing, as young people eschew marriage and children in favor of personal pursuits, leaving behind fewer future workers to support the economy after they retire."

An analyst on Fox News highlighted what could be an upside to being a singleton. 

"I would rather see more single people than more unhappily married people, then if you bring kids into the equation. I don't think it's such a bad thing if people are taking their time and thinking about it." 

Now, we should re-note — this is the first time so many Americans have been single. So projections of the future are just that — projections. 

This video includes images from Andrew Abogado / CC BY 2.0Cheryl Brind / CC BY 2.0 and Muramasa / GFDL.