Begone, old stereotypes of sad sack singletons living alone and mourning their solo existence while covered in cats! New census data shows that there are a record number of singles in the U.S., and they’re spending a bunch of money all on their own. And they’re just fine with that single status, so stop asking what her sign is.
Fortune says things have changed a lot from a 1957 survey where 70% of Americans were married, and many saw unmarrieds as “sick,” “immoral” or “neurotic.” Now they’re spending $1.9 trillion a year, with a record 28% of all households containing only one person compared to the 51% of married adults.
Bigger cities have an even higher percentage of solo households, with over 40% in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Denver, St. Louis, and Seattle and almost 50% in Manhattan. All those Bridget Joneses and George Clooneys aren’t sitting around boo-hooing either, says Fortune after interviewing singletons and reading up on the research. Most of those alone are doing it by choice, and will maybe end up in a couple eventually, but are willing to pay for the single life if they can.
Buying power is strong among the solo fliers, as they use their disposable income to fuel the economy. The average per capita annual expenditure for singles was $34,471 in 2010, according to the federal Consumer Expenditure survey. Married individuals without kids clocked in at $28,017 those with children who spent the most were at $23,179 per person.
Businesses are taking note, from real estate companies to home-improvement stores, car dealerships and diamond shillers. Because even though it may take two to tango (still debatable, I’m going to crack that one someday), it doesn’t take two to plunk down cash and buy stuff.