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Return to Main Page
of AASP Report on
Census 2000

 

 

 

2000 Census -- AASP Report

"Profile of General Demographic Characteristics
for the United States: 2000"

census-2000.gif (4904 bytes)


Data on One-Person Households

Comments by Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.

 

 

The following educator who is a member of the American Association for Single People -- has authorized AASP to publish her comments on the one-person household data in "Profile of General Demographic Characteristics for the United States: 2000," a report released by the Census Bureau on May 15, 2001.

For information on how to reach Professor DePaulo for further comments, please contact Stephanie Knapik, AASP's Director of Public Affairs, at: (818) 242-5124 or you mail send her an e-mail message to knapik@unmarriedAmerica.com

 

     

 

 

                  Bella M. DePaulo
                  Santa Barbara, California

                   Visiting Professor
                   Department of Psychology
                   University of California


We all know that
AMarried with Children@ is a TV show.  The stories are fictional.  With the release of the latest Census data, we now have more evidence for a lesser known fiction, which is that people who are married with children deserve, by their numbers, to be the centerpiece of American households.  In fact, there are more households consisting of  one person living alone.

The citizens of this nation are not as eager as they once were to sign up for The Married Couples Club in their early adulthood years.  The rush to the altar has slowed. The 20 year old bride with her 23 year old groom is a page out of the 1950's. Today, men and women who marry at such a young age are four or five years out of step with their peers.

The one-person household and the single adult are now economic realities, but they have yet to be fully recognized as such by corporate America. Businesses and marketers have papered our nation with 2-for-the-price-of-1 coupons and similar spousal subsidies for dinners, stays at resorts, memberships in health clubs, and premiums for health insurance.  When married people pay less than full price for a commodity, they are probably being subsidized by the single adults who are paying full fare.  Businesses that continue to cater almost exclusively to married couples have lost sight of the changing demographics of this country, and they may get lost in the dust of the companies who do recognize the face of the future.

As the number of one-person households and of Americans who are single continues to rise, and as this strength in numbers is underscored by the newly released Census Bureau statistics and other important data, people who are single are likely to become an increasingly important political force.  In a Presidential debate in the year 2000, a 34-year old single woman asked candidates what their proposals would do for her.  In the year 2004, she will receive a more compelling answer than she did then.

Bella M. DePaulo is a social psychologist with a B.A. from Vassar College and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. She has authored more than 100 professional publications. In the past several years, she has been studying the place in science, society, and social life of people who are single. She is the President-Elect of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the recipient of numerous professional honors and awards. She is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

 


 

 

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