Young Singles Fare Far Worse Economically Than Partnered or Married Colleagues, Data Shows

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Recent data shows that singles tend to be worse off economically, earning less than their peers. Business Insider reported that this is all due to shifting dynamics in who gets married and at what stage in life.

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About 38% of adults ages 25 to 34 in the U.S. weren’t married or living with a partner in 2019, according to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center.

Meanwhile, more couples — especially millennials — are living together and prioritizing homeownership before marriage, according to Insider. While adults living with a partner tend to do better than their single counterparts, Pew data shows that married adults do even better, especially men.

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According to Insider, one reason may be that high-earning men are more likely to get married. Research has also found that men’s earnings go up when they get married, often referred to as a “wage premium.” It was noted that women may be experiencing something similar, but to a lesser degree. Partnered men are also much more likely to be employed than single men, 91% and 73%, respectively.

Single adults fare worse economically. Single men had median earnings of $35,600 in 2019 compared to partnered men, who made $57,000. On average, partnered women made $40,000 in 2019, while single women made $32,000.

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More Americans are single today and choose to get married later in life. In fact, a separate Insider report estimates that 25% of millennials are unlikely to ever marry. Millennials are choosing to continue their education and focus on their careers before deciding they are ready for homeownership or marriage.

Last updated: October 6, 2021

About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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