How Many Single People Are There in the World EXACTLY? [2022 Data]

SPOILER: there are billions. But we’ll still look closely at what percentage of the population is single, why they’re still single, and why they choose to be.

For those of us that can’t seem to catch a date, it can sometimes feel like we’re the only ones missing out on love. 

It turns out we aren’t; numbers vary, but around half of adults are single in most places. And the most common reason for not dating is universal – most singles just feel like they aren’t any good at flirting. 

Let’s take a look at the data on how many people stay single, where they’re most likely to be single, and why they choose to be single.

Here are some standout statistics we dug up in our research:

  • The primary reason that most singles (89%) choose not to date is that they believe they aren’t good at flirting. 
  • While 75.2% of all singles say that being too picky is a reason they do not date, 82.1% of just women cite that factor, suggesting that women are significantly pickier than men when it comes to dating. 
  • By marital status, American widows had the highest death rate in 2019 (1,627 deaths per 100,000 people). Never-married Americans had the second-highest (1,423.2 per 100,000), but widows were the only group whose death rate increased since 2010.
  • There are about 2.12 billion single people on Earth. 
  • Higher education decreases the likelihood of being single; 34% of American high school graduates are single, but only 25% of those with at least a bachelor’s degree are single.
  • Reasons for not dating vary by age. However, the same percentage of non-daters cite two reasons regardless of their age: “haven’t had luck in the past (18%) and “health problems make it difficult (11%)
  • American men and women are single at about the same rate – 31% of men and 31% of women in the U.S. do not have a partner. 
  • Americans are least likely to be single (only 23%) between the ages of 30 and 49. 

Worldwide Singles Statistics: How Many Single People Are in the World Exactly?

Brought to you from the censuses and surveys of several countries, as well as United Nations data, here’s an approximate breakdown of singles by the numbers in nations around the world.

  • Data from over 230 countries suggests there are approximately 2.12 billion single people on earth. (See all sources below)
  • Almost half of American adults (126.9 million) were single in 2021. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021)1
  • In 2012, 34.8 million Russians (17.6 million women, 17.2 million men) were single. (The Daily Beast, 2017)2
  • 49.29% of people in Denmark (2.9 million) are currently single/never married (Statista, 2022a)3
  • There were 200 million single adults in China as of 2018. (Statista, 2022b)4
  • In 2021, there were 17,944,050 Canadians who were single. (Statista, 2022c)5
  • In 2020, there were 28,392,544 single people in England and Wales. (Statista, 2022d)6 
  • In 2018, 27.7 million people (41.3%) in France were single. (Statista, 2021)7 
  • There were 5,597,632 unmarried people in Sweden in 2021. (Statista, 2022e)8 
  • There are currently 87,984 unmarried singles in Iceland. (Statista, 2022f)9 
  • In 2021, 8,558,739 singles in the Netherlands had never been married. (Statista, 2022g)10 
  • In 2021, there were 5,697,008 unmarried singles in Belgium. (Statista, 2022h)11 
  • 55.3% of South African adults (32.8 million) were single in 2020. (Statista, 2022i)12 
  • Aside from the countries above, the UN has been gathering marital data from roughly 1,603,311,981 singles in 216 countries from 1970 to 2021: (United Nations Data, 2021)13 
    • Afghanistan
      • 7,512,551 singles from 1979
    • Åland Islands:
      • 15,567 singles from 2020
    • Albania
      • 1,190,569 singles from 2011
    • Algeria
      • 20,900,905 singles from 2008
    • American Samoa
      • 12,741 singles from 2000
    • Andorra
      • 33,125 singles from 2001
    • Angola
      • 7,023,131 singles from 2014
    • Anguilla
      • 7,449 singles from 2001
    • Antigua and Barbuda
      • 27,286 singles from 2001
    • Argentina
      • 15,652,412 singles from 2010
    • Armenia
      • 555,419 singles from 2019
    • Aruba
      • 52,474 singles from 2010
    • Australia
      • 6,668,910 singles from 2016
    • Austria
      • 3,627,956 singles from 2011
    • Azerbaijan
      • 4,106,658 singles from 2020
    • Bahamas
      • 226,028 singles from 2010 
    • Bahrain
      • 833,800 singles from 2020
    • Bangladesh
      • 33,504,063 singles 2001
    • Barbados
      • 150,558 singles from 2010
    • Belarus
      • 1,419,119 singles from 2019
    • Belize
      • 119,264 singles from 2010
    • Benin:
      • 4,097,038 singles from 2002
    • Bermuda
      • 28,606 singles from 2016
    • Bhutan
      • 233,596 singles from 2017
    • Bolivia
      • 2,761,789 singles from 2012
    • Botswana
      • 824,998 singles from 2011
    • Brazil
      • 89,653,405 singles from 2010
    • British Virgin Islands
      • 3,108 singles from 2010
    • Brunei Darussalam
      • 208,604 singles from 2011
    • Bulgaria
      • 3,004,438 singles from 2011
    • Burkina Faso
      • 3,038,922 singles from 2006
    • Burundi
      • 2,182,797 singles from 2008
    • Cabo Verde
      • 136,284 singles from 1990
    • Cambodia
      • 7,414,871 singles from 2008
    • Cameroon
      • 3,157,081 singles from 1976
    • Cayman Islands
      • 16,343 single from 2010
    • Central African Republic
      • 638,057 singles from 1988
    • Chad
      • 1,748,092 singles from 2009
    • Chile
      • 3,883,266 singles from 2002
    • China, Hong Kong SAR
      • 2,787,739 singles from 2016
    • China, Macao SAR
      • 169,866 singles from 2016
    • Colombia
      • 15,500,416 singles from 2018
    • Comoros
      • 125,715 singles from 1991
    • Congo
      • 595,606 singles from 1984
    • Cook Islands
      • 3,582 singles from 2011
    • Costa Rica
      • 2,414,332 singles from 2020
    • Côte d’Ivoire
      • 6,887,803 singles from 2014
    • Croatia
      • 1,699,822 singles from 2011
    • Cuba
      • 2,517,232 singles from 2012
    • Curaçao
      • 89,945 singles from 2011
    • Cyprus
      • 344,931 singles from 2011
    • Czechia
      • 4,559,236 singles from 2020
    • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
      • 4,709,066 singles from 2008
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo
      • 7,098,500 singles from 1984
    • Dominica
      • 29,638 singles from 2001
    • Dominican Republic
      • 1,783,601 singles from 2010
    • Ecuador
      • 3,960,653 singles from 2010
    • Egypt
      • 13,675,206 singles from 2017
    • El Salvador
      • 1,800,598 singles from 2007
    • Equatorial Guinea
      • 67,813 singles from 1983
    • Estonia
      • 618,104 singles from 2020
    • Eswatini
      • 348,671 singles from 2007
    • Ethiopia
      • 21,375,036 singles from 2007
    • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
      • 1,403 singles from 2016
    • Faroe Islands
      • 27,821 singles from 2019
    • Fiji
      • 432,888 singles from 1986
    • Finland
      • 2,689,069 singles from 2020
    • French Polynesia
      • 125,300 singles from 2017
    • Gabon
      • 357,749 singles from 1993
    • Gambia
      • 306,572 singles from 1993
    • Georgia
      • 614,357 singles from 2014
    • Germany
      • 35,791,445 singles from 2020
    • Ghana
      • 7,087,098 singles from 2010
    • Gibraltar
      • 13,639 singles from 2012
    • Greece
      • 4,227,476 singles from 2011
    • Greenland
      • 16,308 singles from 2019
    • Grenada
      • 39,168 singles from 1981
    • Guadaloupe
      • 274,233 singles from 1999
    • Guam
      • 43,795 singles from 2010
    • Guatemala
      • 1,275,285 singles from 1990
    • Guernsey
      • 24,931 singles from 2001
    • Guinea
      • 2,396,787 singles from 2014
    • Guyana
      • 20,742 singles from 1980
    • Haiti
      • 1,735,207 singles from 1982
    • Honduras
      • 2,165,498 singles from 2001
    • Hungary
      • 4,345,661 singles from 2020
    • India
      • 510,945,030 singles from 2001
    • Indonesia
      • 61,104,880 singles from 2010
    • Iran (Islamic Republic of)
      • 20,154,626 singles from 2016
    • Iraq
      • 8,888,323 singles from 2013
    • Ireland
      • 2,544,176 singles from 2016
    • Isle of Man
      • 36,121 singles from 2011
    • Israel
      • 4,534,254 singles from 2018
    • Italy
      • 25,399,192 singles from 2020
    • Jamaica
      • 2,069,308 singles from 2011
    • Japan
      • 29,241,531 singles from 2015
    • Jersey
      • 37,206 singles from 2001
    • Jordan
      • 1,276,209 singles from 2004
    • Kazakhstan
      • 3,925,822 singles from 2009
    • Kenya
      • 14,164,090 singles from 2019
    • Kiribati
      • 18,149 singles from 2010
    • Kuwait
      • 781,721 singles from 2011
    • Kyrgyzstan
      • 2,778,975 singles from 2009
    • Lao People’s Democratic Republic
      • 1,295,493 singles from 2015
    • Latvia
      • 806,278 singles from 2021
    • Lebanon
      • 2,103,121 singles from 2007
    • Lesotho
      • 1,094,991 singles from 2006
    • Liberia
      • 1,186,347 singles from 2008
    • Libya
      • 1,957,519 singles from 2006
    • Liechtenstein
      • 16,132 singles from 2020
    • Lithuania
      • 1,189,740 singles from 2020
    • Luxembourg
      • 283,258 singles from 2020
    • Madagascar
      • 3,751,334 singles from 1993
    • Malawi
      • 4,279,990 singles from 2018
    • Malaysia
      • 15,025,866 singles from 2010
    • Maldives
      • 62,323 singles from 2014
    • Mali
      • 3,131,202 singles from 2009
    • Malta
      • 180,694 singles from 2011
    • Marshall Islands
      • 10,369 singles from 1999
    • Martinique
      • 252,081 singles from 1999
    • Mauritania
      • 538,196 singles from 1988
    • Mauritius
      • 526,856 singles from 2011
    • Mayotte
      • 68,314 singles from 2012
    • Mexico
      • 35,442,539 singles from 2021
    • Micronesia (Federated States of)
      • 25,233 singles from 2000
    • Monaco
      • 11,506 singles from 2008
    • Mongolia
      • 678,901 singles from 2020
    • Montenegro
      • 162,892 singles from 2011
    • Montserrat
      • 2,229 singles from 2011
    • Morocco
      • 8,396,873 singles from 2014
    • Mozambique
      • 3,779,116 singles from 2007
    • Myanmar
      • 16,167,031 singles from 2014
    • Namibia
      • 1,351,665 singles from 2018
    • Nepal
      • 7,383,186 singles from 2011
    • New Caledonia
      • 180,436 singles from 2014
    • New Zealand
      • 1,099,722 singles from 2018
    • Nicaragua
      • 1,447,338 singles from 2005
    • Niger
      • 1,827,500 singles from 2001
    • Nigeria
      • 45,437,673 singles from 2006
    • Niue
      • 741 singles from 2017
    • Norfolk Island
      • 635 singles from 2011
    • North Macedonia
      • 830,030 singles from 2002
    • Northern Mariana Islands
      • 22,462 singles from 2000
    • Norway
      • 2,837,531 singles from 2020
    • Oman
      • 1,399,673 singles from 2020
    • Pakistan
      • 37,331,800 singles from 2017
    • Palau
      • 4,914 singles from 2005
    • Panama
      • 717,701 singles from 2010
    • Papua New Guinea
      • 1,757,136 singles from 1980
    • Paraguay
      • 1,885,367 singles from 2002
    • Peru
      • 8,922,073 singles from 2017
    • Philippines
      • 56,454,504 singles from 2015
    • Pitcairn
      • 23 singles from 1993
    • Poland
      • 14,590,345 singles from 2011
    • Portugal
      • 4,272,977 singles from 2011
    • Puerto Rico
      • 1,134,766 singles from 2019
    • Qatar
      • 456,359 singles from 2010
    • Republic of Korea
      • 13,376,237 singles from 2015
    • Republic of Moldova
      • 1,479,476 singles from 2020
    • Republic of South Sudan
      • 1,877,511 singles from 2008
    • Reunion
      • 493,708 singles from 2006
    • Romania
      • 8,109,216 singles from 2012
    • Rwanda
      • 3,154,467 singles from 2012
    • Saint Helena ex. dep.
      • 1,788 singles from 2016
    • Saint Helena: Ascension
      • 431 singles from 2008
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
      • 109 singles from 1996
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
      • 19,284 singles from 1980
    • Saint Lucia
      • 38,934 singles from 2010
    • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
      • 1,201 singles from 2018
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
      • 31,974 singles from 2002
    • Samoa
      • 116,283 singles from 2016
    • San Marino
      • 13,306 singles from 2018
    • Sao Tome and Principe
      • 107,851 singles from 2012
    • Saudi Arabia
      • 5,244,463 singles from 2017
    • Senegal
      • 2,700,271 singles from 2002
    • Serbia
      • 1,530,699 singles from 2011
    • Seychelles
      • 49,731 singles from 2010
    • Sierra Leone
      • 1,330,242 singles from 2004
    • Singapore
      • 1,090,666 singles from 2020
    • Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
      • 13,114 singles from 2011
    • Slovakia
      • 2,388,534 singles from 2020
    • Slovenia
      • 1,042,556 singles from 2020
    • Solomon Islands
      • 125,477 singles from 1976
    • Spain
      • 20,374,860 singles from 2011
    • Sri Lanka
      • 9,055,541 singles from 2012
    • State of Palestine
      • 950,873 singles from 2017
    • Sudan
      • 5,156,720 singles from 2008
    • Suriname
      • 229,348 singles from 2012
    • Switzerland
      • 3,843,439 singles from 2019
    • Syrian Arab Republic
      • 4,596,060 singles from 1991
    • Tajikistan
      • 1,409,903 singles from 2010
    • Thailand
      • 16,957,652 singles from 2010
    • Timor-Leste
      • 171,629 singles from 2004
    • Togo
      • 1,503,776 singles from 2010
    • Tokelau
      • 268 singles from 2016
    • Tonga
      • 59,860 singles from 2016
    • Trinidad and Tobago
      • 480,149 singles from 2011
    • Tunisia
      • 5,694,177 singles from 2014
    • Turkey
      • 34,350,046 singles from 2013
    • Turks and Caicos
      • 10,592 singles from 2001
    • Tuvalu
      • 2,351 singles from 2017
    • Uganda
      • 7,185,644 singles from 2002
    • Ukraine
      • 7,984,415 singles from 2001
    • United Arab Emirates
      • 955,235 singles from 2005
    • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
      • 29,670,148 singles from 2011
    • United Republic of Tanzania
      • 28,052,917 singles from 2012
    • United States Virgin Islands
      • 32,764 singles from 2000
    • Uruguay
      • 793,408 singles from 2011
    • Uzbekistan
      • 2,855,204 singles from 1989
    • Vanuatu
      • 44,693 singles from 2009
    • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
      • 10,332,759 singles from 2011
    • Vietnam
      • 16,364,940 singles from 2019
    • Wallis and Futuna Islands
      • 6,721 singles from 2013
    • Western Sahara
      • 43,404 singles from 1970
    • Yemen
      • 4,202,740 singles from 1994
    • Zambia
      • 2,278,080 singles from 2010
    • Zimbabwe
      • 7,046,250 singles from 2002

The American Single Population Is Increasing

Just as the marriage rate declines, the number of U.S. adults choosing to stay single is going up. 

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers from a few different sources:

  • Over half (55%) of Americans were not in a committed relationship or even looking for one in 2005. Of the 55%, single men made up 42%, and single women made up 65%. (Pew Research Center, 2006)14
  • There were 110.6 million unmarried Americans (53.2% were women, 46.8% were men) over the age of 18 in 2016. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017)15 
  • 31% of U.S. adults in 2019 were currently single and content. Half of these were looking for dates or a relationship, and the other half were not. (Pew Research Center, 2020)16
  • Roughly 89 million Americans over the age of 15 were single in 2020. By gender, this breaks down to 47.5 million males and 41.5 million females. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020)17 
    • 89,028,651 Americans were single in 2020. 
    • 47,510,293 male Americans were single (never married) in 2020. 
    • 41,518,258 female Americans were single (never married) in 2020. 
  • Nearly 50% of Americans (126.9 million) were single as of September 2021. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021)1

Top Single Countries

While many people choose to remain single, a good percentage of them still live with roommates or family. The following is a list of countries with the highest percentages of people that are both single and living by themselves.

  • Here are the percentages, by country, of their populations aged 20 or older that are both single and living alone. (FiveThirtyEight, 2014)18 
    • 1. Denmark – 24.1%
    • 2. France – 22.8%
    • 3. Finland – 19.6%
    • 4. Belgium – 19.5%
    • 5. Norway – 19.3%
    • 6. Luxembourg – 19.1%
    • 7. Australia – 18.5%
    • 8. Estonia – 18.2%
    • 9. New Zealand – 17.6%
    • 10. Switzerland – 17.5%
    • 11. Latvia – 16.5%
    • 12. Austria – 16.5%
    • 13. Germany – 16.4%
    • 14. Netherlands – 15.8%
    • 15. Japan – 15.5%
    • 16. United Kingdom – 14.9%
    • 17. Czech Republic – 14.8%
    • 18. Slovakia – 14.6% 
    • 19. Lithuania – 14.2%
    • 20. Bulgaria – 14.0%
    • 21. United States – 13.4%
    • 22. Hungary – 12.0%
    • 23. Poland – 11.2%
    • 24. Italy – 10.8%
    • 25. Canada – 10.7%
    • 26. Ireland – 10.6%
    • 27. Slovenia – 9.6%
    • 28. Spain – 8.6%
    • 29. Greece – 8.0%
    • 30. Romania – 7.6%
    • 31. Malta – 7.0%
    • 32. Portugal – 7.0%
    • 33. Cyprus – 6.3%
    • 34. Turkey – 3.9%

How Many Americans Die Without a Partner?

It’s an uncomfortable question but an important one. Especially since Americans over the age of 25 who have never-married died at nearly twice the rate of married Americans in 2019. 

 Here are the numbers on how marital status correlates with – but does not necessarily cause – longevity:

  • The death rate for single or never-married Americans in 2019 was 1,423.2 deaths per 100,000 people that year. This is a slight decrease from 2010, when the rate was 1,466.1 deaths per 100,000 people. (National Vital Statistics Reports, 2021)19
    • Death rate for all Americans:
      • 2010 – 1,122.1 deaths per 100,000 people
      • 2019 – 1,074.3 deaths per 100,000
    • Married:
      • 2010 – 839.8 deaths per 100,000
      • 2019 – 747 deaths per 100,000
    • Never married:
      • 2010 – 1,466.1 deaths per 100,000
      • 2019 – 1423.2 deaths per 100,000
    • Widowed:
      • 2010 – 1,567.2 deaths per 100,000
      • 2019 – 1,627 deaths per 100,000
    • Divorced:
      • 2010 – 1,366.5 deaths per 100,000
      • 2019 – 1,324 deaths per 100,000

Divorced, Widowed, & Unmarried Americans by the Numbers

While some studies only count singles as those who have never married, this isn’t entirely accurate. Several individuals without a partner may be widowed or divorced. 

These numbers paint a picture of how spousal death and divorce break down into percentages in the American single population.

  • Here are the numbers and percentages of the American single population by marital status: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020)17
    • Never married – 89,028,651 people, or 66.93% of all singles.
    • Widowed – 15,230,473 people, or 11.45% of all singles.
    • Divorced – 28,767,947 people, or 21.62% of all singles. 
  • Here are the numbers and percentages of American single men by marital status: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020)17
    • Never married – 47,510,293 single men or 75.20% of all single men. 
    • Widowed – 3,408,813 single men, or 5.40% of all single men. 
    • Divorced – 12,261,848 single men, or 19.40% of all single men. 
  • Here are the numbers and percentages of American single women by marital status. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020)17
    • Never married – 41,518,358 single women or 59.44% of all single women.
    • Widowed – 11,821,620 single women, or 16.93% of all single women. 
    • Divorced – 16,506,099 single women, or 23.63% of all single women. 

Demographic Breakdown of Singles in the U.S.

As with any statistic, the numbers tend to differ based on a variety of factors. Let’s dive into the ways that ethnicity, age, gender, and education. 

  • An ethnic breakdown of singles in the U.S. is as follows: (Pew Research Center, 2020)16
    • White/Caucasian – 28% of adults
    • Black/African-American – 47% of adults
    • Hispanic – 27% of adults
  • Here are the percentages of singles in the U.S. broken down by age: (Pew Research Center, 2020)16
    • Aged 18 to 29 – 41% are single
    • Aged 30 to 49 – 23%
    • Aged 50 to 64 – 28%
    • Aged 65+ – 36%
  • These are the percentages of men and women in the U.S. who are single: (Pew Research Center, 2020)16
    • Men – 31% are single
    • Women – 31% are single
  • The following numbers are percentages of single Americans by educational attainment: (Pew Research Center, 2020)16
    • High School/GED or less – 34% of US adults
    • Some college – 32%
    • Bachelor’s degree or higher – 25%

U.S. States With the Highest and Lowest Number of Singles

If you’re loving the single life, you’ll find the most like-minded in Louisiana or Rhode Island. If you’re dying to get hitched, you’ll have the best luck in Idaho or Utah. 

Here are the percentages of single adults by state in the U.S.: 

  • These top 10 states have the highest percentages of single adults living in them: (Bloomberg, 2014)20
    • 1. Louisiana – 55.7% of adults are single.
    • 2. Rhode Island – 55.7%
    • 3. New York – 55.4%
    • 4. Mississippi – 54.9%
    • 5. New Mexico – 53.6%
    • 6. California – 53.5%
    • 7. Florida – 53.5%
    • 8. Massachusetts – 53.5%
    • 9. Nevada – 53.5%
    • 10. Maryland – 53.1%
  • These bottom 10 states have the lowest percentages of single adults. (Bloomberg, 2014)20
    • 41. Montana – 47.7% of adults are single.
    • 42. North Dakota – 47.7% 
    • 43. Minnesota – 47.6%
    • 44. Kansas – 47.5%
    • 45. New Hampshire – 47.1%
    • 46. Nebraska – 46.9%
    • 47. Iowa – 46.7%
    • 48. Wyoming – 46.4%
    • 49. Idaho – 44.4%
    • 50. Utah – 43.7%

Why Are People Single?

Now that we’ve gone through all the numbers, there’s just one question left: why?

People stay single for several reasons, including insecurity, fear, sexuality, different priorities, or a simple desire to be free and enjoy life without obligation. 

These data points illustrate the different rationales behind keeping a ring off your finger:

  • In the 2010s, fewer adolescents engaged in dating or other adult activities. Possible causes could be increased homework, extracurriculars, or increased internet use. (Child Development, 2017)21
  • Singles who don’t date mainly report that they have other priorities. Here’s a breakdown of common reasons for not dating, and the percentages of singles who cite them as a reason for not dating:  (Pew Research Center, 2020)16
    • Have more important priorities right now:
      • Ages 18 to 49 – 61% of single non-daters. 
      • Ages 50+ – 38%
      • Total – 47%
    • Just like being single:
      • Ages 18 to 49 – 41%
      • Ages 50+ – 46%
      • Total – 44%
    • Too busy:
      • Ages 18 to 49 – 29%
      • Ages 50+ – 14%
      • Total – 20%
    • Haven’t had luck in the past:
      • Ages 18 to 49 – 18%
      • Ages 50+ – 18%
      • Total – 18%
    • Feel like no one would be interested:
      • Ages 18 to 49 – 24%
      • Ages 50+ – 12%
      • Total – 17%
    • Not ready after losing a spouse or ending a relationship:
      • Ages 18 to 49 – 15%
      • Ages 50+ – 18%
      • Total – 17%
    • Feel like I am too old:
      • Ages 18 to 49 – 4%
      • Ages 50+ – 25%
      • Total – 17%
    • Have health problems that make it difficult:
      • Ages 18 to 49 – 11%
      • Ages 50+ – 11%
      • Total – 11%
  • Women most prominently report the following reasons for staying single: low capacity for courtship, constraints from previous relationships, freedom, and personal constraints. (Frontiers in Psychology, 2020)22
  • Here’s a list of all factors that singles in one study reported as reasons for not dating, and the percentages of respondents who cited each factor: (Frontiers in Psychology, 2020)22
    • “I am not good at flirting” – 89% of respondents said this was why they do not date.
    • “I want to be free to do whatever I want” – 87.3%
    • “I fear I will get hurt” – 80.2%
    • “I have different priorities” – 79.5%
    • “I am too picky” – 75.2%
    • “I am not a desirable mate” – 64.8%
    • “I am not the family type” – 61.4%
    • “Commitment scares me” – 55.1%
    • “I have a health/disability problem” – 43.5%
    • “I want to spend more time with my friends” – 34.7%
    • “I want to be free to flirt around” – 23.5%
    • “I experience sexual difficulties” – 18.4%
    • “I have not gotten over my previous relationship” – 18.1%
    • “I want to devote my attention to my children” – 9.3%
    • “Sexual orientation” – 7.9%
    • “I move often” – 5.1%
    • “I cannot have children” – 5.1%
    • “Addiction” – 3.2%
  • Women’s life satisfaction is closely tied to good health, not being lonely, having a female housemate, having many casual friends, and being invested in their careers. (Sex Roles, 1981)23
  • Here are the top 5 factors that women indicate they want to stay single: (Frontiers in Psychology, 2020)22
    • “I am not good at flirting” – 91.5% of single women say this is why they do not date. 
    • “I want to be free to do whatever I want” – 89.3% 
    • “I fear I will get hurt” – 83.1%
    • “I am too picky” – 82.1%
    • “I have different priorities” – 81.4%

Conclusion

There are billions of single people in this world. Some of them are looking for love, some of them are avoiding it at all costs, and some are simply hanging out in between the two. While singles are increasing in the U.S., worldwide trends vary from country to country. 

Most singles say they’re bad at flirting or just prefer to live a more carefree lifestyle. Being single doesn’t always mean being lonely, however. On the contrary, for many of us, having casual friends, housemates, or career satisfaction fulfills the human need for companionship. 

Few of us may be choosing to partner with one person, but that doesn’t always mean we’re missing out. 


Footnotes

  1. U.S. Census Bureau, 2021. A report on the number of single and unmarried Americans based on 2021 census data.
  2. The Daily Beast, 2017. An article on the increasing trend of staying single in Russia among both men and women.
  3. Statista, 2022a. A report on Denmark’s population by marital status using data from a Statistics Denmark survey of 5.8 million Danes.
  4. Statista, 2022b. A report on China’s single adults and those living alone using data from a 2018 survey of 1.39 billion Chinese citizens by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
  5. Statista, 2022c. A report on the Canadian population broken down by marital status using StatCan data on 38.23 million Canadians.
  6. Statista, 2022d. A report on population by marital status in England and Wales utilizing data of 63.26 million adults from the Office for National Statistics.
  7. Statista, 2021. A report on population by marital status in France using census data from INSEE of 67.1 million French people.
  8. Statista, 2022e. A report on the Swedish population by marital status using 2021 census data of 10.41 million people.
  9. Statista, 2022f. A report on the Icelandic population by marital status using 2022 census data of 376,248 people by Statistics Iceland.
  10. Statista, 2022g. A report on population by marital status in the Netherlands using CBS data of 17.47 million people.
  11. Statista, 2022h. A report on population by marital status in Belgium utilizing 2021 Statbel census data of over 10.4 million Belgians.
  12. Statista, 2022i. A report on population by marital status of 59.31 million South African adults conducted by Statistics South Africa.
  13. United Nations Data, 2021. An analysis of marital status by population in over 216 countries from 1970 to 2021.
  14. Pew Research Center, 2006. A report on single trends in the American population by Pew Research using a 2006 study of 1,058 Americans.
  15. U.S. Census Bureau, 2017. A report on a survey of 3.54 million American households in 2016 that analyzes single life in the U.S.
  16. Pew Research Center, 2020. A report on the increased difficulty of dating and rising trend toward single life in the U.S. that uses a 2019 survey of 4,860 American adults.
  17. U.S. Census Bureau, 2020. Census data from 265.8 million Americans and their marital statuses collected in 2020.
  18. FiveThirtyEight, 2014. A report on countries most likely to celebrate singles’ day using data from a 2014 survey by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  19. National Vital Statistics Reports, 2021. A report on 2019 data of more than 2,794,826 American death records of individuals over the age of 25.
  20. Bloomberg, 2014. An article on the geographic variance of trends in a single population that uses data from a 2014 survey of 3.5 million Americans.
  21. Child Development, 2017. A 2017 study of trends in adolescent activity using data from seven surveys totaling 8.44 million American adolescents.
  22. Frontiers in Psychology, 2020. A research article on the reasons that singles are single, citing data from a 2020 study of 647 adults in the U.K.
  23. Sex Roles, 1981. A study of 60 American women between the ages of 35 and 65 conducted in 1981 to determine life satisfactions and stressors in single women.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More

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