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Report: For 1st time, more adults are single than married in US

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Report: For 1st time, more adults are single than married in US

By Natalie Crofts | Posted - Sep. 16, 2014 at 8:30 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — If you’re a single adult, you’re not alone.

For the first time since the government began tracking the trend, single adults outnumbered their married counterparts, Bloomburg recently reported. With 50.2 percent of adults identifying as unmarried in August, the single group barely came out on top, but the upward trend is especially noteworthy when compared to historical data, researchers said.

Economist Edward Yardeni noted the dominance of single adults while analyzing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to Bloomburg. He found the number of single adults surpassed 50 percent for the first time in July and August.

The number of single adults has been steadily increasing since the first numbers were gathered in 1976, when only 37.4 percent of adults were unmarried, Bloomburg reported. A total of 124.6 million people 16 years old or older identified as unmarried in the most recent report.

The growing number of people who have never been married — 30.4 percent in 2014 compared to 22.1 percent in 1976 — is not the only factor contributing to the trend, according to Yardeni. The number of people in the population who are divorced, separated or widowed was 15.3 percent in 1976, but 19.8 percent in August.


In 1976, only 37.4 percent of adults were unmarried. Now 50.2 percent are unmarried.

Following Bloomburg’s report, City Lab and the Martin Prosperity Institute analyzed data from the U.S. Census to determine which areas of the U.S. are home to the greatest numbers of singles. Louisiana and Rhode Island tied for the states with the largest percentage of residents who are single at 55.7 percent.

Utah was the state with the lowest percentage of people who are not married, at 43.7 percent. Idaho came in 49th place with 44.4 percent. Of the 366 metro areas ranked in the report, four of the five areas with the lowest percentage of unmarried people were in Utah, according to City Lab.

St. George had the lowest number of unmarried people at 38.8 percent, followed by Idaho Falls at 40.5 percent. The Ogden-Clearfield, Provo-Orem and Logan areas were also in the bottom five.

Salt Lake City was the second largest metropolitan area to have a population where married people outnumbered unmarried people, City Lab reported. Forty-three percent of the population is single, according to the data.

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Natalie Crofts

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