|CCF Fact Sheet on Unmarried and Single Americans Week|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- September 20, 2009
CONTACT: Bella DePaulo; firstname.lastname@example.org; 805.565.9582
Check out the numbers from a Council on Contemporary Families Fact Sheet out this week: Single Americans are 43% of the population-up from 28% 40 years ago. Single Americans are healthier and happier than ever before-and they are more likely than married Americans to help, encourage, and socialize with friends and neighbors, and to visit, contact, and help out their parents and siblings.
In preparation for national Unmarried and Single Americans Week, psychologist and CCF Fellow Bella DePaulo explores myths and realities about the diverse lives of unmarried Americans. DePaulo, who researches the changing roles and status of the unmarried, argues that the persistent belief that single people are lonely and miserable just isn't supported by the facts. In her CCF Fact Sheet, DePaulo provides data that shows that singles are not only happier and healthier than many other Americans but also make important contributions to our society.
You can find the CCF Fact Sheet on Unmarried and Single Americans Week below. To understand why changes in singlehood have occurred and how families and individuals have changed the way they organize their lives and their relationships, CCF provides a list at the end of this fact sheet of those who can discuss issues ranging from extended family care to single parenting, safe sex, and legal and adoption issues.
UNMARRIED AND SINGLE AMERICANS WEEK:
September 20-26, 2009 is Unmarried and Single Americans Week.
Today almost 45 percent of the American population is unmarried, up from 28 percent in 1970. Nearly 96 million Americans 18 and older are never-married, divorced, or widowed. Yet many Americans still equate unmarried with unhappy, unhealthy, uninvolved in community life, and unencumbered by family obligations. These stereotypes are all false.
Single Americans are found in all age groups, household types, racial and ethnic groups.
• Americans 65 and older account for just 16 percent of all unmarried Americans. In fact, older Americans are the only segment of the population MORE likely to be married than in the past. Nearly half of all unmarried Americans are between the ages of 30 and 64.
• There are more single-person households in America than married-couple households with children. But most single people do not live alone. The 32.2 million who do live alone account for only about a third of all unmarried Americans.
• Thirteen percent of unmarried Americans -- 12.4 million individuals live with a partner. Of those 6.2 million couples, 5.5 million consisted of opposite-sex couples.
• 34.3 percent of Asians, 39 percent of Non-Hispanic Whites, 42.6 percent of Hispanics, and 58.5 percent of Blacks in the U.S. are unmarried.
Single Americans are vitally involved in building interpersonal and community bonds.
• Adults who have always been single are more likely to visit, contact, advise, and give practical aid to their parents and siblings than are the currently or previously married.
• Singles are also more likely to socialize with and give both practical and emotional support to friends, coworkers, and neighbors.
• Three of every 10 grandparents with primary responsibility for their grandchildren are unmarried. That amounts to 743,000 single-grandparents with primary care-giving responsibilities.
• 11.6 million single parents live with and have primary responsibility for their children. (Of these, 9.8 million are single mothers.)
The overwhelming majority of single Americans live healthy and happy lives.
• 92.6 percent of never-married Americans rate their own health as excellent or good, compared to 86.6 percent of widowed people and 91 percent of divorced people. In fact, women who have always been single are more likely to rate their health as excellent or good than are married men.
• Single people who do marry and stay married report small increases in happiness around the year of the wedding (a honeymoon effect), then go back to the same level of happiness they had when they were single. Never-married single people report higher levels of happiness than divorced or widowed Americans.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bella DePaulo is the author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. An expert on the place of singles in society, she also writes the "Living Single" blog for Psychology Today. Dr. DePaulo is a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Visit her website at www.BellaDePaulo.com.
EXPERTS ON TOPICS RELATED TO SINGLES IN SOCIETY:
For more information on singles in American, contact fact sheet author Bella DePaulo, author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After: email@example.com; 805.565.9582. An expert on the place of singles in society, she also writes the "Living Single" blog for Psychology Today. Dr. DePaulo is a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
For perspectives on single women, including single women and celibacy, contact Kay Trimberger, author of The New Single Woman, Professor Emerita of Women's & Gender Studies, Sonoma State University and Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Social Change, University of California, Berkeley: firstname.lastname@example.org; 510.848.4033.
For information on her research on the contributions of singles versus married people to their family and community, and some of the sources for those differences, contact Naomi Gerstel, Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst: email@example.com; 413.545.5976.
To learn about the legal status of singles, contact Nancy D. Polikoff, Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University, and author of Beyond Straight and Gay Marriage, firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.274.4232.
For questions related to singles and adoption, contact Adam Pertman, Executive Director, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and author of Adoption Nation: email@example.com; 617.332.8944.
For an understanding of the transitions of adults in and out of singlehood, cohabitation, and marriage, contact Andrew Cherlin, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University, and author of The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today: firstname.lastname@example.org; 410.516.2370.
For further information on singles and sexual health, contact Adina Nack, Associate Professor of Sociology at California Lutheran University and author of Damaged Goods? Women Living with Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases: 805.493.3438; email@example.com; www.adinanack.com.
For a perspective on single sexuality in midlife and beyond, contact Pepper Schwartz, Professor of Sociology, University of Washington, and author of Prime: Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years: firstname.lastname@example.org; 206.543.4036.
ABOUT CCF: The Council on Contemporary Families is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing the press and public with the latest research and best-practice findings about American families. Our members include demographers, economists, family therapists, historians, political scientists, psychologists, social workers, sociologists, as well as other family social scientists and practitioners. Founded in 1996 and based at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Council's mission is to enhance the national understanding of how and why contemporary families are changing, what needs and challenges they face, and how these needs can best be met.
To learn more about other briefing papers and about our annual April conferences, including complimentary press passes for journalists, contact Stephanie Coontz, CCF's Director of Research and Public Education, at email@example.com.
CCF is a volunteer organization whose busy professionals contribute their time and expertise gratis. Click here to support our mission by making a donation to CCF. Your contributions will help to fund our annual conferences and publicize our research briefings.