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Single Lifestyles - US - March 2017

Published By :

Mintel

Published Date : Mar 2017

Category :

Sports Equipment

No. of Pages : N/A

In the US, singles account for a growing number of adults due to a steady number of marriages and a growing population. In 2016, 48% of adults age 15+ identified as single – nearly 123.5 million – and 44.1% are under age 30. Singles are active and mobile and often participate in “couples” activities such as traveling or dining out. However, single consumers are limited in their discretionary spending compared to married adults because a larger portion of their lower household income is allotted to fixed expenses.

Table of Content

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Definition

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The issues
Singles aren’t thrilled with how they are portrayed in the media
Figure 1: Portrayal of singles in the media – Difference from married and index to all, December 2016
Singles feel behind schedule, in terms of lifestage accomplishments
Figure 2: Attitudes and expectations, by marital status, December 2016
Single women are more likely to struggle with their relationship status
Figure 3: Singles’ attitudes and expectations – Select items, by gender, December 2016
The opportunities
Singles are open to making lifestyle improvements
Figure 4: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Difference from married and index to all, December 2016
Singles are concentrating on themselves
Figure 5: Singles’ reasons for not being married – Select items, by age, December 2016
Single men may need a boost of empowerment from brands
Figure 6: Portrayal of singles in the media, by gender, December 2016
Singlehood elicits spontaneity and adventure
Figure 7: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles, December 2016
What it means

THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Unmarried adults account for nearly 123.5 million people
Share of unmarried adults continues to grow
Youngest and oldest adults are most likely to be unmarried
Blacks are disproportionately least likely to be married
Single women are more likely than single men to buy homes despite earning less

SINGLES BY THE NUMBERS
Nearly half of all adults are unmarried
Figure 8: Unmarried share of the population, 2006-16
Adults aged 15-29 account for more than four in 10 unmarrieds
Figure 9: Marital status of total population aged 15+, unmarried, by age, 2016
Gender disparity in share of unmarried adults shifts at age 50
Figure 10: Unmarried people aged 15+, by gender and age, 2016
Black adults are most likely to be unmarried
Figure 11: Total population and unmarried aged 15 or older, by race/Hispanic origin, 2016
Financial benefits of two-adult households
Figure 12: Household income of adults aged 15+, by marital status, 2016

MARKET PERSPECTIVE
Homeownership is higher among single women
Figure 13: Composition of home buyer households, by marital status and gender, 2000-16
Gender wage gap worsens with age
Figure 14: Usual median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, by gender and age, Q4 2016

MARKET FACTORS
Share of married adults continues to decline
Figure 15: Percentage of population aged 15+ who are married, 2006-17
Young adults today are delaying marriage
Figure 16: Estimated median age at first marriage, 2006-16
Divorce rate continues to decline
Figure 17: Estimated annual number of divorces/annulments and rate, 2000-15

KEY TRENDS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Services and apps make meeting others easy and convenient
Swipe left, swipe right, wink, like, match
Being single doesn’t mean you’re unhappy or lonely
The “single tax” makes singlehood expensive
Single women may struggle to embrace professional aspirations
Three cheers for being single!

WHAT’S WORKING?
Singles turn to different dating sites for specific reasons
Figure 18: Dating apps and services – Select companies, 2016
First comes swiping, then comes meeting in-person
Psychological well-being of older singles surpasses non-singles
Ridin’ solo musters up independence, not insecurity
Retailers push “treat yourself” campaigns for Galentine’s Day
Figure 19: DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse “Sisters before misters,” February 2017
Figure 20: BCBGMAXAZRIA “Celebrate Galentine’s Day in style.” February 2017

WHAT’S STRUGGLING?
Single women most likely to downplay their career ambitions
It costs more to be single
In era of digital dating, prioritizing safety of users is important
Some places are better to live than others for singles

WHAT’S NEXT?
There’s a dating app for that
Figure 21: How to Start Dating with Ona, February 2017
Figure 22: FarmersOnly: The Fishing Date, November 2015
Celebrating the single adult
Traveling “alone” has become safer for women
First came ghosting, then breadcrumbing, and now there’s cushioning

THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Singles can act like married adults
One in five singles use dating apps and services
Lifestyle improvements are top goals for next five years
Dating motivations adjust with age
Singles are less favorable about their media portrayal
Satisfaction with singlehood increases with age
Singles differentiate themselves by their spontaneity

ACTIVITIES DONE IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS
Singles are active, but not nearly as much as non-singles
Figure 23: Activities done in the last 12 months, by marital status, December 2016
Single men likely feel safer and more financially stable to doing things
Figure 24: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months, by gender, December 2016
Young singles are far more active than older singles
Figure 25: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months, by age, December 2016
Figure 26: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months – Number of activities, by age, December 2016

PAST 12 MONTH USE OF DATING/NON-DATING SERVICES
Dating apps used by more than one in five singles
Figure 27: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months – Apps/services to meet people, by marital status, December 2016
More single men than women are using dating apps
Figure 28: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months - Apps/services to meet people, by gender, December 2016
Young adults are more likely than older adults to turn to dating services
Figure 29: Activities done by singles in the last 12 months – Apps/services to meet people, by age, December 2016

GOALS FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS
Health and long-term lifestyle improvement goals beat out marriage
Figure 30: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Difference from married and index to all, December 2016
Single women are more motivated to make big, lifestyle changes
Figure 31: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Select items, by gender, December 2016
Young singles look to improve their financial situations
Figure 32: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Select items, by age, December 2016
Most singles aren’t interested in getting married in the next five years
Figure 33: Singles’ goals for the next five years – Get married, by key demographics, December 2016

REASONS FOR NOT BEING MARRIED
Singles haven’t met the right person, previously married prefer to be alone
Figure 34: Reasons for not being married, by relationship status, December 2016
Single women are selective and find dating exhausting, men just aren’t ready
Figure 35: Citi: “Date” Citi® Double Cash Card Commercial, TV commercial, January 2017
Figure 36: Singles’ reason(s) for not being married – Select items, by gender, December 2016
Serious relationships are less desired by youngest singles
Figure 37: Singles’ reason(s) for not being married – Select items, by age, December 2016
Reasons for singlehood are shared by both straight and LGBT adults
Figure 38: Reason(s) singles are not married – Top five reasons, by sexual orientation, December 2016

PORTRAYAL OF SINGLES IN THE MEDIA
Most singles feel they are negatively portrayed in the media
Figure 39: Portrayal of singles in the media – Difference from married and index to all, December 2016
Single women are more likely to feel empowered
Figure 40: Secret Deodorant | Raise | #StressTest, TV commercial, April 2016
Figure 41: Portrayal of singles in the media – Select positive items, by gender, December 2016
Young singles are more sensitive to how they are shown in the media
Figure 42: How To Be Single - Official Trailer 1 [HD], November 2015
Figure 43: Portrayal of singles in the media, by age, December 2016
LGBT singles demonstrate optimistic portrayals in the media
Figure 44: Portrayal of singles in the media, by sexual orientation, December 2016

ATTITUDES AND EXPECTATIONS
Singles are price-conscious, adventurous, and self-critical
Financial security is a struggle for single adults
Solo travel for singles poses an opportunity for self-discovery and enjoyment
Many singles are under pressure and feeling behind schedule
Figure 45: Attitudes and expectations, by marital status, December 2016
Single men appear more comfortable with their current situation
Figure 46: Singles’ attitudes and expectations – Select items, by gender, December 2016
Young singles express concerns about living a lonely life
Figure 47: Singles’ attitudes and expectations – Lifestage pressures, by age, December 2016
Desire to be in a relationship is more impactful on social media than ads
Figure 48: Singles’ attitudes and expectations – Media portrayal of couples and impact on desire for relationship, by key demographics, December 2016

COMPARING ACTIVITIES OF SINGLES TO NON-SINGLES
Being single allows for spontaneity and adventure
Figure 49: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles, by marital status, December 2016
Singles are more open to trying new things . . .
Figure 50: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles – Travel items, December 2016
and are spontaneous purchasers
Figure 51: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles – Finance items, December 2016
Singles recognize their less healthy eating habits
Figure 52: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles – Health items, December 2016
Singles feel more up-to-date on the latest technology
Figure 53: Comparing activities of singles to non-singles – Technology items, December 2016

APPENDIX – DATA SOURCES AND ABBREVIATIONS
Data sources
Supporting data
Consumer survey data
Consumer qualitative research
Direct marketing creative
Abbreviations and terms
Abbreviations
Terms

List of Table

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