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Single Lifestyles - US - March 2017

"In the US, singles account for a growing number of adults due to a steady number of marriages and a growing population. In 2016, 48% of adults age 15+ identified as single – nearly 123.5 million – and 44.1% are under age 30. Singles are active and mobile and often participate in “couples” activities such as traveling or dining out. However, single consumers are limited in their discretionary spending compared to married adults because a larger portion of their lower household income is allotted to fixed expenses."

- Gina Cavato, Lifestyles and Leisure Analyst

This report will cover the following areas:

  • Singles aren’t thrilled with how they are portrayed in the media
  • Singles feel behind schedule, in terms of lifestage accomplishments
  • Single women are more likely to struggle with their relationship status

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The issues
            • Singles aren’t thrilled with how they are portrayed in the media
              • Figure 1: Portrayal of singles in the media – Difference from married and index to all, December 2016
            • Singles feel behind schedule, in terms of lifestage accomplishments
              • Figure 2: Attitudes and expectations, by marital status, December 2016
            • Single women are more likely to struggle with their relationship status
              • Figure 3: Singles’ attitudes and expectations – Select items, by gender, December 2016
            • The opportunities
              • Singles are open to making lifestyle improvements
                • Figure 4: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Difference from married and index to all, December 2016
              • Singles are concentrating on themselves
                • Figure 5: Singles’ reasons for not being married – Select items, by age, December 2016
              • Single men may need a boost of empowerment from brands
                • Figure 6: Portrayal of singles in the media, by gender, December 2016
              • Singlehood elicits spontaneity and adventure
                • Figure 7: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles, December 2016
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Unmarried adults account for nearly 123.5 million people
                  • Share of unmarried adults continues to grow
                    • Youngest and oldest adults are most likely to be unmarried
                      • Blacks are disproportionately least likely to be married
                        • Single women are more likely than single men to buy homes despite earning less
                        • Singles by the Numbers

                          • Nearly half of all adults are unmarried
                            • Figure 8: Unmarried share of the population, 2006-16
                          • Adults aged 15-29 account for more than four in 10 unmarrieds
                            • Figure 9: Marital status of total population aged 15+, unmarried, by age, 2016
                          • Gender disparity in share of unmarried adults shifts at age 50
                            • Figure 10: Unmarried people aged 15+, by gender and age, 2016
                          • Black adults are most likely to be unmarried
                            • Figure 11: Total population and unmarried aged 15 or older, by race/Hispanic origin, 2016
                          • Financial benefits of two-adult households
                            • Figure 12: Household income of adults aged 15+, by marital status, 2016
                        • Market Perspective

                          • Homeownership is higher among single women
                            • Figure 13: Composition of home buyer households, by marital status and gender, 2000-16
                          • Gender wage gap worsens with age
                            • Figure 14: Usual median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, by gender and age, Q4 2016
                        • Market Factors

                          • Share of married adults continues to decline
                            • Figure 15: Percentage of population aged 15+ who are married, 2006-17
                          • Young adults today are delaying marriage
                            • Figure 16: Estimated median age at first marriage, 2006-16
                          • Divorce rate continues to decline
                            • Figure 17: Estimated annual number of divorces/annulments and rate, 2000-15
                        • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                          • Services and apps make meeting others easy and convenient
                            • Swipe left, swipe right, wink, like, match
                              • Being single doesn’t mean you’re unhappy or lonely
                                • The “single tax” makes singlehood expensive
                                  • Single women may struggle to embrace professional aspirations
                                    • Three cheers for being single!
                                    • What’s Working?

                                      • Singles turn to different dating sites for specific reasons
                                          • Figure 18: Dating apps and services – Select companies, 2016
                                        • First comes swiping, then comes meeting in-person
                                          • Psychological well-being of older singles surpasses non-singles
                                            • Ridin’ solo musters up independence, not insecurity
                                              • Retailers push “treat yourself” campaigns for Galentine’s Day
                                                • Figure 19: DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse “Sisters before misters,” February 2017
                                                • Figure 20: BCBGMAXAZRIA “Celebrate Galentine’s Day in style.” February 2017
                                            • What’s Struggling?

                                              • Single women most likely to downplay their career ambitions
                                                • It costs more to be single
                                                  • In era of digital dating, prioritizing safety of users is important
                                                    • Some places are better to live than others for singles
                                                    • What’s Next?

                                                      • There’s a dating app for that
                                                          • Figure 21: How to Start Dating with Ona, February 2017
                                                          • Figure 22: FarmersOnly: The Fishing Date, November 2015
                                                        • Celebrating the single adult
                                                          • Traveling “alone” has become safer for women
                                                            • First came ghosting, then breadcrumbing, and now there’s cushioning
                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                              • Singles can act like married adults
                                                                • One in five singles use dating apps and services
                                                                  • Lifestyle improvements are top goals for next five years
                                                                    • Dating motivations adjust with age
                                                                      • Singles are less favorable about their media portrayal
                                                                        • Satisfaction with singlehood increases with age
                                                                          • Singles differentiate themselves by their spontaneity
                                                                          • Activities Done in the Last 12 Months

                                                                              • Singles are active, but not nearly as much as non-singles
                                                                                • Figure 23: Activities done in the last 12 months, by marital status, December 2016
                                                                              • Single men likely feel safer and more financially stable to doing things
                                                                                • Figure 24: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months, by gender, December 2016
                                                                              • Young singles are far more active than older singles
                                                                                • Figure 25: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months, by age, December 2016
                                                                                • Figure 26: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months – Number of activities, by age, December 2016
                                                                            • Past 12 Month Use of Dating/Non-Dating Services

                                                                                • Dating apps used by more than one in five singles
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months – Apps/services to meet people, by marital status, December 2016
                                                                                  • More single men than women are using dating apps
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months - Apps/services to meet people, by gender, December 2016
                                                                                  • Young adults are more likely than older adults to turn to dating services
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months – Apps/services to meet people, by age, December 2016
                                                                                • Goals for the Next Five Years

                                                                                    • Health and long-term lifestyle improvement goals beat out marriage
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Difference from married and index to all, December 2016
                                                                                    • Single women are more motivated to make big, lifestyle changes
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Select items, by gender, December 2016
                                                                                    • Young singles look to improve their financial situations
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Select items, by age, December 2016
                                                                                    • Most singles aren’t interested in getting married in the next five years
                                                                                      • Figure 33: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Get married, by key demographics, December 2016
                                                                                  • Reasons for Not Being Married

                                                                                      • Singles haven’t met the right person, previously married prefer to be alone
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Reasons for not being married, by relationship status, December 2016
                                                                                      • Single women are selective and find dating exhausting, men just aren’t ready
                                                                                        • Figure 35: Citi: “Date” Citi® Double Cash Card Commercial, TV commercial, January 2017
                                                                                        • Figure 36: Singles’ reason(s) for not being married – Select items, by gender, December 2016
                                                                                      • Serious relationships are less desired by youngest singles
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Singles’ reason(s) for not being married – Select items, by age, December 2016
                                                                                      • Reasons for singlehood are shared by both straight and LGBT adults
                                                                                        • Figure 38: Reason(s) singles are not married – Top five reasons, by sexual orientation, December 2016
                                                                                    • Portrayal of Singles in the Media

                                                                                        • Most singles feel they are negatively portrayed in the media
                                                                                          • Figure 39: Portrayal of singles in the media – Difference from married and index to all, December 2016
                                                                                        • Single women are more likely to feel empowered
                                                                                          • Figure 40: Secret Deodorant | Raise | #StressTest, TV commercial, April 2016
                                                                                          • Figure 41: Portrayal of singles in the media – Select positive items, by gender, December 2016
                                                                                        • Young singles are more sensitive to how they are shown in the media
                                                                                            • Figure 42: How To Be Single - Official Trailer 1 [HD], November 2015
                                                                                            • Figure 43: Portrayal of singles in the media, by age, December 2016
                                                                                          • LGBT singles demonstrate optimistic portrayals in the media
                                                                                            • Figure 44: Portrayal of singles in the media, by sexual orientation, December 2016
                                                                                        • Attitudes and Expectations

                                                                                            • Singles are price-conscious, adventurous, and self-critical
                                                                                              • Financial security is a struggle for single adults
                                                                                                • Solo travel for singles poses an opportunity for self-discovery and enjoyment
                                                                                                  • Many singles are under pressure and feeling behind schedule
                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Attitudes and expectations, by marital status, December 2016
                                                                                                  • Single men appear more comfortable with their current situation
                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Singles’ attitudes and expectations – Select items, by gender, December 2016
                                                                                                  • Young singles express concerns about living a lonely life
                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Singles’ attitudes and expectations – Lifestage pressures, by age, December 2016
                                                                                                  • Desire to be in a relationship is more impactful on social media than ads
                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Singles’ attitudes and expectations – Media portrayal of couples and impact on desire for relationship, by key demographics, December 2016
                                                                                                • Comparing Activities of Singles to Non-singles

                                                                                                    • Being single allows for spontaneity and adventure
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles, by marital status, December 2016
                                                                                                      • Singles are more open to trying new things . . .
                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles – Travel items, December 2016
                                                                                                      • . . . and are spontaneous purchasers
                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles – Finance items, December 2016
                                                                                                      • Singles recognize their less healthy eating habits
                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles – Health items, December 2016
                                                                                                      • Singles feel more up-to-date on the latest technology
                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles – Technology items, December 2016
                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                                                        • Supporting data
                                                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                              • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                    • Terms

                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                    Single Lifestyles - US - March 2017

                                                                                                                    US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)