Census statistics indicate that the single-person household has been the fastest growing type of household in the United States since the 1980s. Singles make up more than 40% of the American adult population and head half the nation’s households. Modern life, combined with extensive educational and career opportunities, makes the single lifestyle attractive to both men and women. Divorce and deferment of marriage for career purposes are two major factors in the rise of the single population, but so is simple choice. Marriage and family in the United States are institutions under great stress today. American life is somewhat disjointed, making it difficult for singles to find life-partners, even if they truly want to. Whatever the reason, the single life is an important facet of the life of the nation in general.
It is important to realize that the singles lifestyle cuts across all social and economic groups, and even generations. It is also crucial to take into consideration that a single person may well have a stable romantic relationship with another single person, even if the couple do not live together. At any given time, of course, millions of single Americans are looking for other single people to become their companions or romantic interests. Singles resorts and social organizations serve these needs, but organized dating services are an even more pervasive facet of American life, particularly over the Internet. The dating industry in America is substantial.
Single people form an important part of the American market for goods and services. Those without families to support often have significant purchasing power and spend much money on travel, recreation, restaurants and entertainment, especially in those circumstances where they can meet each other. Apartment buildings in many cities cater to the singles market, since singles tend to be renters. Many financial services target singles. The market for frozen prepared meals would be a shadow of its present self without the singles market.
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