When the results are in from the 2010 census, it will be impossible to deny the power of the singles demographic.
I’m excited about the census – something that only happens once every 10 years. That’s because the last time we had one, back in 1999, some very interesting and surprising trends emerged about the amazing growth of the single population.
That census, as well as smaller scale surveys over the past decade, revealed that single women over the age of 18 were already the majority at 53.4 percent, with single men accounting for close to 47 percent. Last count, there were some 96 million singular Americans — 43 percent of our country’s adult population. Compare that to the census taken in the 1950s where singles were a mere 20 percent.
These trends mean that we singulars are one of the fastest growing demographics, not only in the United States, but in the world. Do some research on the web and you’ll find “think tanks” offering pricey studies to help marketers who are scrambling to figure out how to promote their products to this “new” consumer long overlooked for their considerable economic power.
Yet despite our growth, it’s my impression that many of us are still holding on to antiquated, negative ideas about what it means to be single. We can be our own worst enemy in that respect because so many of us still buy into the cultural message that says being single is somehow “not right.”
I have to admit, the first time my business partner suggested we start a media project for single people my first reactions was, “Oh no.” Despite being a long-time single myself, I had this stereotypical idea of what single people looked like, did, etc. that had nothing to do with me, or with any of my other single friends! Talk about cultural brainwashing!
Once I really thought about it and became more aware of the reality vs. the stereotypes, I realized how normal and “just fine” we are. The only real difference between us and our coupled friends is that we happen to be living an independent lifestyle, and if our attitude is in the right place, we’re enjoying it.
The more enlightened I became, thanks to writers like Bella DePaulo, Thomas F. Coleman, Diane Mapes, Leslie Talbot and others, the more excited I became about creating a media platform where we singulars could be seen and recognized for the dynamic, successful, bright, and courageous people we truly are.
So when you fill out your census form this year, stand up and be counted. We are part of the singular tsunami and we will, by the power of sheer numbers, change the way we single people are perceived – not just in Los Angeles, but in the world!