The New York Times reported this interesting fact the other day: 51 percent of American women are now living without a spouse. That’s up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000, according to the Times’ recent analysis of 2005 census results. My initial reaction when I read the article was, Woo hoo! We won!Why does this make me want to squeal with joy? Maybe because I no longer feel like I’m in the minority.
The proportion of married people my age, especially, has dropped significantly. According to the article, “Among 25- to 34-year-olds, the proportion dropped to 58 percent, from 82 percent.” Score!
If you think about it, though, is it really all that surprising, considering almost half of all marriages today end in divorce?
What this really tells me is that I’m doing something right by taking my sweet time dating. On the flipside, though, it also tells me that those singles tables at all of the weddings I’m attending this year will be filled with more women than men. “Overall, a larger share of men are married and living with their spouse-about 53 percent compared with 49 percent among women,” the article reports.
How does that figure? According to the Times, men tend to remarry more quickly after a divorce than women. And, by the way, studies show that the girls outlive the guys. “Since women continue to outlive men, they have reached the nonmarital tipping point-more nonmarried than married,” Dr. Frey of the Brookings Institution was quoted as saying. “This suggests that most girls growing up today can look forward to spending more of their lives outside of a traditional marriage.”
So we live longer and we’re more independent? I guess I didn’t need an article to tell me that.
What it might also mean is that the single women of my generation could be the demographic that lowers the divorce rate in coming years-scoring yet another point for the team.
Stay tuned for next week’s posts, when I’ll dish on the weekend and a party for Mayor Daley and share the scoop on my lunch chat with Jen Schefft about her new book, Better Single Than Sorry, out next Tuesday.