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01-Jun-2020 16:17

In cities from Denver to Detroit to Boston, they are joining everything from kickball leagues to museum boards, neighborhood associations to volunteer organizations.

“People who live alone don’t want to be alone or isolated,” Mr. “So they spend an enormous time out in public.”It’s a point that University of California, Santa Barbara professor Bella De Paulo has been trying to make for a long time. De Paulo, who is happily single, debunks what she says are myths related to the country’s “matrimania.” Her research has found that contrary to conventional wisdom (and a number of studies) married people are no more happy and healthy as a group than their single counterparts.

Particularly for college graduates, this delay in marriage has ushered in a new phase of life that sociologists are calling “emerging adulthood” or, less charitably, “delayed adolescence.” This is a time when people focus on their careers and their own personal fulfillment, sociologists say: They go out to dinner, work late hours, and make close groups of friends that are sometimes dubbed “urban tribes.” And while there has been some hand-wringing about this, with worries about a lack of maturity among young American adults today, a number of scholars who study singles point out that this group is the antidote to another point of cultural anxiety: the decline in community.

College-educated singles are moving into old downtown buildings and spending money in revitalizing urban centers.

And the number of American adults who have never been married is at a historic high, around 20 percent.

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Understanding the various facets of the new Singles Nation, it turns out, is key to understanding much about America today.In 2011, the US Census Bureau reported, that percentage had dropped to 48 percent.In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 124.6 million Americans 16 years and older were single, or 50.2 percent of the population, compared with 37.4 percent of the population in 1976. One of the big ones has to do with when Americans get married.“You can be single in Boston and nobody really cares.



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