Shifting Marital Trends and the Economics of Living Alone

Over half of Americans are unmarried, a huge change since 1979 when the percentage of single people was in the 30s. This means shifts in the ways people live and operate within society.

If you were an American adult in 1970, there was a relatively small 30% chance that you were unmarried. Today, that percentage is just over 50%. Such a huge statistical shift has major ramifications in the realm of economics. A nation that operates under the pretense of mass singlehood looks a lot different than one built around married couples. It also features advantages and risks that can have a major effect on an social well-being, according to Allison Schrager of Businessweek


For example, unmarried people tend to have fewer tethers in their lives, which makes them more flexible workers. They may also be more likely to take on the risks of starting a new business if they're not responsible for feeding additional mouths. While those sound like good effects, there's also a long list of singles boom downsides. Unmarried workers tend have only one source of income, therefore elevating the importance that they not lose their job even if they hate it. Also, singles' abilities to maintain a conservative budget and save their money hurts local economies that depend on them spending.

For more, read on at Businessweek

Photo credit: nito / Shutterstock

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