40% of Adult Women Choose the Single Life

Finally, the media is recognizing the incredible trend occurring among women in America and around the world: the percentage of women choosing not to get married has reached 40%. This number was actually determined after the 1995 census, showing that 43 million women in America are choosing not to get married. These women are impacting society and changing attitudes about single life and unmarried women. Women’s outlook on marriage has changed. Rather than thinking of “single-hood” as a time of instability, women are deciding not to hastily jump into marriages, or not to get married at all. Four million of these 43 million single women are living with gay or straight partners.

Women’s decision to stay single crosses all class lines, with single mothers and lower income women deciding to remain unmarried, focusing on education and self-sufficiency, rather than relying on a husband to relieve financial or decision making responsibilities. More single women are also deciding to have children via sperm banks and adoption agencies. According to the TIME/CNN poll, 61% of single women 18 – 49 said they would consider raising a child on their own.

In spite of the media’s revelation that a tremendous population of Americans are single, politicians continue to use pitches directed at working families-a new tactic that could alienate the women and men who do not identify with that demographic.


1996 Statistical Abstract of the United States; NY Times - August 22, 2000; Time magazine - August 28, 2000

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