Record Number Of 40-Year-Olds Have Never Married, Live Alone

In the 1900 Census, 16% of 40-year-olds reported never having been married, a number that gradually dropped to a low of 6% in 1980.

  • A record number of U.S. 40-year-olds have never married and most live alone, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data going back more than a century.
  • The Pew Research Center reported Wednesday that 25% of 40-year-olds in 2021 had never been married, up from 20% in 2010. Most lived alone, with just 22% of never-married adults ages 40 to 44 reporting last year that they cohabitated with a romantic partner.
  • The trend is “notable because the share of 40-year-olds who had completed at least a bachelor’s degree was much higher in 2021 than in 1980,” 39% vs. 18%, said Richard Fry, a Pew senior researcher.
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