Moms and dads have their special day. So do grandparents.
It may seem more than a bit odd, but unmarried single people have their own week to celebrate, and it starts Sunday. The Buckeye Singles Council began National Singles Week in Ohio in 1980s to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society. Wouldn’t you know that it occurred when baby boomers — “the me generation” — were young adults.
The Census Bureau reports that the week is widely observed — now that millennials, boomers’ offspring, are young adults — during the third full week of September as “Unmarried and Single Americans Week.” It is a recognition that many unmarried Americans do not identify with the word “single” because they are parents, have partners or are widowed, reshaping how this country defines a household.
For the purpose of the census, unmarried people include individuals who were never married, are widowed or are divorced. In 2015, the U.S. had 109 million unmarried people age 18 and older. This group constituted 45 percent of all people in the country age 18 and older.
On gender 53 percent of unmarried U.S. residents age 18 and older were women in 2015, and 47 percent were men, leaving 88 unmarried men age 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women. That year 63 percent of unmarried people in the U.S. 18 and older had never been married, 24 percent were divorced and 13 percent were widowed.
Not all single people are younger — 19 million were age 65 and older in 2015. They represented 18 percent of the unmarried people age 18 and older in the U.S.
The U.S. in 2015 had 59 million households maintained by unmarried men and women. They represented 47 percent of all households nationwide. The census reports that 35 million singles lived alone, and they comprised 28 percent of all U.S. households. That’s a substantial increase from 17 percent in 1970.
In 2014, 36 percent of women age 15 to 50 who were widowed, divorced or never married had given birth in the last 12 months. In 2015, 39 percent of opposite-sex, unmarried-partner couples lived with at least one biological child of either partner.
The U.S. had 788,730 unmarried grandparents who were responsible for most of the basic care of a co-resident grandchild in 2014. That year, 30 percent of co-resident grandparents who were responsible for their grandchildren were unmarried.
The U.S. in 2014 had 7 million unmarried-partner households, and of that number, 448,271 were same-sex households.
Politicians seeking election should take seriously people who are unmarried and single because they do vote. In 2012, 39 percent of voters in the presidential election were unmarried compared with 24 percent of voters in the 1972 presidential election. In the November 2014 congressional election, 35 percent of the voters were unmarried.
They also are educated. In 2015, 87 percent of unmarried people 25 and older had completed high school or more education; 27 percent had a bachelor’s degree or more.
For those out there who are unmarried and single, pop the cork on a bottle of champagne or pull the tab on a few beers and enjoy celebrating your week — Sept. 18-24!