Growing number of low-income singles worries researchers

Orlando Florida. – Jessica Kaschube has relied on the financial benefits of marriage to further her career.

In nearly 12 years of marriage, her husband’s more stable job and additional income from his health insurance moved Kashbe from Montana to Alabama in Florida as a theater director for the artistic profession known for its low wages. Advances his career. And instability.

“Each move has taken my career path to the next level. He’s always had a steady income, ”said Kaschube, 35, who lives in the Orlando metro area. “I had a spouse with health insurance and an income, so I could still foot the bill. We weren’t making any money, but it was a privilege.

A new Pew Research Center study released Tuesday highlights the economic benefits of marriage, especially as the proportion of singles in the United States has increased over the past three decades. On the contrary, of course, it is difficult to be single. Because people without a partner have less income and less education. In particular, men without a partner are less likely to be hired.


From 1990 to 2019, the proportion of the U.S. population not living with romantic partners increased from 29% to 38% between 1990 and 2019. About 28% of singles aged 25 to 54 live with their parents. 2% for couples or partner couples. In addition, according to Pew’s survey using data from the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey, the population without a partner over nearly 30 years has been faster for men than for women.

Richard Fry, senior economist at Pew, said policymakers have said that unmarried people are generally financially disadvantaged and are in poorer health than those who are married or live with a romantic partner. You must be prudent.

“When we look at their health consequences, they are more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors such as drinking alcohol. Single adults can’t live that long, ”Fry said.


Verade Paulo, a psychology researcher at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said the Pew Report was “partnerless people when used as a means of talking with poor and possibly deceptively singles. what is wrong. May be more to blame. “they or they.”

“Yes, singles have low wages, few resources available when they need help and other inconveniences, but some (and maybe a lot) are based on discrimination against singles. It’s not based on what they think is bad, ”Depoul said in an email.

The increase in the number of single people can be explained by a drop in the number of marriages over the past 30 years. The proportion of married adults aged 25 to 54 fell by more than half in 2019 from two-thirds in 1990, and the proportion of those who were never married rose from 17% to 33%. low. The unmarried population includes people who are divorced, divorced or widowed, but all of the growth is coming from people who have never been married, the Pew report says.


The growth of the single population is faster among men than among women. In 1990 it was around 29% for both men and women, but in 2019 it has increased to 39% for men and 36% for women.

The income of single women increased in 1990, but by 2019 their dominance had reversed as female partners were more likely to remain in the workforce.

Single men, on the other hand, lag even further behind their partners in terms of income and education. The researchers concluded that it is a combination of higher income men who are more attractive as partners and cohabitation that increases the financial luck of men.

“There is a ‘chicken or egg’ problem. “The two are just a few, especially for men,” Fry said. Not a very suitable partner. They don’t have partners because they earn little and have no education. “


Despite the drawbacks, many singles find that the benefits of not being obsessed outweigh the financial benefits of a partnership. That includes De Paulo, who wrote an average essay last month. De Paulo celebrates the 50th anniversary of his celibacy at the age of 68.

“Send gifts to everyone you know who is successful in single life, not me,” she writes. I call them “single in my heart”. Praise them for never giving in to the relentless pressure to put their romantic partners at the center of their lives. “

Singles invest more in friendships, enjoy more freedom and solitude, and some studies show they are happier over time, she said in an email. ..

“Singles do very well in many ways, although they are unfairly disadvantaged compared to married or married couples,” De Paulo said.



Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter.

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