Average number of relationships by age

1. A profile of single Americans

Many single adults in the U.S. are content being on their own. Of the half who are not looking for a relationship or dates at the moment, having more important priorities and enjoying being single are their top reasons why they are not looking to date.

For those who are on the dating market, about half are open to either a relationship or casual dates, and relatively few are looking only for something casual. In particular, daters younger than age 40 are less likely than older daters to be looking for only casual dates.

A small share of singles report that they are, in fact, currently casually dating someone. This group includes singles of all ages and most of them are open to a relationship if one comes along.

Among those who are married or in a relationship, meeting through friends or family is the most popular way to have met their partner. But meeting online is common among younger adults and those who are lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB).

Share of adults who are single varies by race, age, education and sexual orientation

While about three-in-ten U.S. adults (31%) say they are single – that is, not married, living with a partner or in a committed romantic relationship – that share varies widely across demographic groups. The youngest and oldest Americans are the most likely to be single – 41% of those ages 18 to 29 and 36% of those 65 and older say they are single, compared with 23% of those 30 to 49 and 28% of those 50 to 64.

These age differences bely huge differences by gender. Among men, those younger than 30 are by far the most likely to be single: About half of men in this age group (51%) are single, compared with only 27% of those ages 30 to 49 and 50 to 64 and 21% of men 65 and older. Women, by contrast, are by far most likely to be single later in life – roughly half of women ages 65 and older are unpartnered (49%), while those ages 30 to 49 are the least likely to be single (19%). Roughly three-in-ten women ages 18 to 29 (32%) and 50 to 64 (29%) are single.

The fact that men and women tend to be single at very different stages of life reflects both men’s shorter life expectancy and their tendency to marry later in life than women.

There are also differences in the share who are single by race and educational attainment. Black adults (47%) are much more likely to be single than White (28%) or Hispanic (27%) adults. About a third of those with a high school diploma or less education (34%) or some college experience (32%) are single, compared with 25% of those with at least a bachelor’s degree.

While 47% of adults who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual are single, only 29% of straight adults are. LGB Americans do tend to be younger on average than those who are straight (among those surveyed, the median age of LGB respondents is 35 compared with 48 among straight adults), but these differences are just as large after controlling for age. For example, 56% of LGB adults ages 18 to 29 are single, compared with 37% of those who are straight.

Many singles aren’t looking to date right now

Half of singles say they are not currently looking for a relationship or dates, while about a quarter say they are looking for either a committed romantic relationship or casual dates (26%), and smaller shares say they are looking only for a committed romantic relationship (14%) or only for casual dates (10%). Whether people are looking to date or not can be explained, in part, by gender, age and past relationships – factors which are inextricably linked, but all have an impact.

Majorities of singles in the 18-to-29 and 30-to-49 age groups are interested in a relationship or dates, but that’s not the case for their older counterparts. Half of those ages 50 to 64 and three-quarters of those 65 and older are not looking for either a relationship or dates at the moment.

Those who have never been married are more likely to be looking to date (62%), but divorced and widowed singles lean more toward not dating at the moment (56% and 74%, respectively). This at least partly reflects the age differences among those with different marital histories.

Men are far more likely than women to be on the dating market: 61% of single men say they are currently looking for a relationship or dates, compared with 38% of single women.

The gender differences are heavily concentrated among older singles. While men and women younger than 40 are roughly equally likely to not be looking for a relationship or dates (33% and 39%, respectively), men and women 40 and older are very different. A majority of older women (71%) say they aren’t looking to date right now, compared with 42% of men 40 and older.

Many singles on the dating market are open to either a relationship or casual dates, while one-in-five are looking only for something casual

Among singles who are on the dating market, roughly half (53%) are open to either a committed relationship or casual dates. Among those who are looking for only one arrangement, more are looking for a relationship than casual dates (28% vs. 20% of singles who are looking to date).

Women daters are significantly more likely than men to be exclusively seeking a committed relationship (36% say they are looking for this, compared with 22% of men).

While the share looking only for a relationship doesn’t vary much by age, older daters (40 and older) are more likely than younger daters to be looking only for something casual (24% vs. 15%), and less likely to be open to either a relationship or casual dates (47% compared with 58%).

A quarter of divorced, separated or widowed single people on the dating market are looking only for casual dates, higher than the share of never-married daters who are looking for the same (17%). However, these differences can primarily be explained by age and gender.

A small share of those who are not currently married, living with a partner or in a committed relationship (13%) report that they are casually dating someone. These singles are keeping their options open: 52% say they are open to either a committed romantic relationship or casual dates, while only 5% say they are not looking for a relationship or dates right now. The remaining share is split between those who are looking only for a relationship (24%) or only casual dates (19%).

Singles who aren’t looking to date cite more important priorities and enjoying the single life as reasons for not dating

Among those who aren’t looking for a relationship or dates right now (half of all singles), two reasons stand out: that they have more important priorities right now and that they just like being single. These are cited as major reasons why they are not looking by 47% and 44% of non-daters, respectively.

Roughly one-in-five single adults who are not looking for a relationship or dates right now say that being too busy (20%), not having had luck with dating or relationships in the past (18%), feeling like no one would be interested in dating them (17%) and feeling like they are too old to date (17%) are major reasons why they are off the dating market. A smaller share (11%) say they have health problems that make it difficult to date.

These reasons vary by age. For non-daters younger than 50, having more important priorities is the dominant reason why they are not looking for a relationship or dates (61% say so).3 Meanwhile, 38% of older non-daters say the same. Younger non-daters are about twice as likely as those ages 50 and older to say being too busy (29% vs. 14%) and feeling no one would be interested in dating them (24% vs. 12%) are major reasons why they are not looking to date at the moment.

For their part, non-daters 50 and older are more likely to say that feeling too old to date is a major reason they’re not looking (25%) – but even 4% of those younger than 50 say the same. Non-daters age 65 and older are particularly likely to say this (30%).

Men and women see eye to eye on almost all these reasons for not looking to date. The one exception is that male non-daters are about twice as likely as female non-daters to say that feeling like no one would be interested in dating them is a major reason they’re not looking to date (26% of men say this compared with 12% of women).

Introductions through family or friends are the most common way people meet a partner, but meeting partners online is common among some groups

Looking at adults whose dating days are behind them – at least for the time being – friends and family were the most common source in helping them find a match. About a third (32%) of adults who are married, living with a partner or in a committed relationship say that is how they first met their current partner, while 18% say they met through work, 17% through school, 12% online, 8% at a bar or restaurant, 5% at a place of worship and 8% somewhere else.

Meeting online is more common among those in relatively new relationships. Among those who have been in their current romantic relationship for less than three years, meeting online is just as common as meeting through friends or family (28% met online compared with 27% through friends or family).

Younger partnered adults are more likely to have met online – 21% of those ages 18 to 29 and 15% of those 30 to 49 say they first met their partner online, compared with 8% of those 50 to 64 and 5% of those 65 and older. The youngest age group (18 to 29) is more likely than their older counterparts to have met their partners in school, while adults older than 50 are more likely to have met at work than younger people.

Meeting online is equally popular among those who say they now live in urban and suburban areas (14% of partnered adults in each type of community say they met online) but significantly less common among those living in rural areas (8%). This is the case even when taking into account that urban and suburban residents tend to be younger than those in rural areas.

Previous research suggests that online dating is a particularly common way to meet for populations with a small pool of potential partners, such as LGB daters. The survey finds that partnered LGB adults are just as likely to have met their partner online (28%) as through friends and family (24%). This is far higher than the share of straight Americans who met their partner online (11%). Even when controlling for the fact that LGB adults tend to be younger than their straight counterparts, they are still much more likely to have met their partner online. For example, among partnered LGB adults younger than 40, 32% met their partner online compared with 17% of straight adults in the same age group.4 Single LGB adults are also more likely than single straight adults to be currently online dating (37% vs. 24%).

Meeting online doesn’t necessarily mean through an online dating site or app. While a majority of those who met their partner online say they met through a dating site or app (61%), a significant share reports meeting through a social media site or app (21%). Smaller shares say they met their partner in an online discussion forum (10%), a texting or messaging app (3%) or online gaming (3%).

Singles who have never been in a committed relationship tend to be young and not looking for a relationship or dates

About a third of never-married single adults (35%) say that they have never been in a committed romantic relationship. These singles are younger on average – single adults who have never been in a relationship have a median age of 24, compared with 35 among those who have been in a relationship. Still, 21% of never-married singles age 40 and older say they have never been in a relationship. Roughly four-in-ten (42%) of those younger than 40 say the same.

Never-married single men and women are about equally likely to have never been in a relationship (35% and 37%, respectively).

Those who have never been in a relationship are less likely to be looking for a relationship or dates than never-married singles who have some experience with committed relationships (53% vs. 67%).

Science says this is how many dates you have to go on before you find 'The One'

4 years ago


The average woman will kiss 15 men, enjoy two long-term relationships and have her heartbroken twice before she meets 'The One', a study has revealed.

Researchers found she will also suffer four disaster dates and be stood up once before she finds one she's happy to stick with.

But she will also have been in love twice, lived with one ex-partner and had four one night stands.

In comparison, men face being stood up twice and having six one night stands before they meet their ideal partner.

The stats emerged in a study commissioned to mark the paperback release of  The Rosie Project - a tale of one man's quest to find his perfect wife.

Author Graeme Simsion, said:"It's a reminder that the path to finding a life partner can be a long and rocky one - and indeed is for most of us.

''All of the disaster dates, mismatched relationships and awkward one night stands can leave many feeling like they are never going to meet their soul mate.

"But there's an annoying yet wonderful randomness about it.

"All those calamities, false starts and heartbreaks never knowing when or if or how "The One" is going to appear in your life. Once we've found someone to settle down with perhaps we're inclined to look only at the negative aspects of the dating journey.''

The study of 2,000 adults who say they have already met 'The One', found that women will also go on seven dates - as well as a further two blind dates and two dates with someone they met over the internet.

But men will enjoy eight dates, three blind dates and meet three people online.

The biggest difference between men and women lies in the number of sexual partners - with men having ten in their lifetime, compared to an average of seven for women.

The study also revealed that men will have six relationships - two of which will last more than a year, while women will have five.

Men and women both face get cheated on once in their quest to find 'The One' - but the average adult will also be the cheater on at least one occasion in their dating lifetime.

Most will also go through one long distance relationship before finally settling down.


Researchers also found that while 94% of women believe in true love, just 88% of men feel the same way.

Pathway to meeting 'The One'

Women Men
Number of relationships 7 8
Disaster dates 4 4
Blind dates 2 3
Stood up on a date 1 2
Online dates 2 3
Number of kisses 15 16
Sexual partner 7 10
One night stands 4 6
Relationships (year or less) 3 4
Relationships (year or more) 2 2
Partners lived with 1 1
Falling in love 2 2
Heart break 2 2
Times cheated on 1 1
Times cheater 1 1
Long distance relationships 1 1


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When is it time for couples? Modern family in graphs and figures

Whether to go to the registry office and when to do it - the choice of each couple depends on many factors. Statistics say: the Russians decide to take such a step later and later. Youth unions peaked in the mid-nineties, when the average age at first marriage was about 21 for women and 24 for men. Now most couples register relationships closer to 27-29 years. In addition, both women and men are increasingly starting a family after 35 years.

"There are no global changes now. In the future, the dynamics will depend on the marriage attitudes of the younger generation. It is known that so-called trial marriages are common among thirty-year-olds, when people live together for some time without registration. Perhaps this trend will continue among twenty-year-olds , but it’s hard to say how widespread it will be,” says Alla Makartseva, a leading researcher at the Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting of the RANEPA.

The young generation's view of marriage is changing. They strive for independence and value personal achievement above what a person received from their parents.

"In 2018, we surveyed 1,400 students from universities in Moscow and Stavropol, which represents the conservative south of Russia, and compared the results with surveys in 2005 and 2007. There were almost two times fewer girls who want to get married before the age of 24 Later than others, students of technical specialties are going to marry, and earlier - young men who grew up in rural areas. At the same time, the structure of the parental family has almost no effect on marriage plans, "says Tatyana Gurko, Doctor of Sociology, Chief Researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Federal Scientific Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences .

"With the advent of the market economy, the connection between generations has weakened. Young people often earn more than their parents. The rental market allows you to rent an apartment and live separately. An independent person makes his own decisions, the opinion of his relatives plays almost no role for him," says a professor at the Department of Sociology family and demography of the sociological faculty of Moscow State University Alexander Sinelnikov.

"Now everyone is responsible for their own happy or unhappy future. Therefore, people have become more careful: first they live together, and only then get married. Most often, such marriages are more stable than those that are entered into at the beginning of a romantic relationship," says the psychologist Larisa Ovcharenko.

Psychologists don't recommend postponing marriage too long. After five years of marriage, the chances of formalizing a legal marriage are small - doubts are growing about such a need, and sometimes about a partner in general.

"We have perfectionists who think it's all or nothing. They wait for the right time, when there will be more money or better weather. And when that moment comes, it turns out that there is no desire anymore. Therefore, everything must be done on time, when you really want to Even if the circumstances are not quite ideal, you will get much more emotions, "says psychologist Natalia Panfilova.

Most often, people of the same age group enter into marriage (the difference is no more than five years). It is really easier for them to find a common language, they have close views on life, raising children and leisure.

"Every seven years, a person's values ​​and worldview change. Therefore, it is sometimes more difficult for partners with a large age difference to agree. At the same time, an older spouse can be emotionally flexible, and a young one can be rigid. There are people who cannot be moved even in young age,” says Natalia Panfilova.

Can we do without the formalities?

From 2015 to 2019, Russians entered into more than 5 million marriages, for the period 2010-2014. there were more registrations - 6.1 million. This indicator, among other things, depends on the sex and age structure of the population. For example, due to the low birth rate in the 90s, there are now few young people under 30, and it is at this age that people actively marry.

In the whole country, there are more men aged 18–34 than women: 16.1 million versus 15.5 million. This is especially noticeable in the northern regions and the Far East. But in the southern republics, the picture is reversed. The disproportion of the sexes is not so critical, but still affects the choice of a partner.

"In Siberia and the Far East, there are extractive industries and high wages, so there are more men. In addition to industry specifics, there is a difference in the type of settlement. In rural areas, the situation with suitors is better, since girls are more active leaving for the city, while guys stay." Ten girls and nine guys" is more likely about some town with a textile industry, but this is also in the past. Now no one "stands on the sidelines" - people actively get to know each other on the Internet and travel around the country, "says the supervisor Laboratory of Population Economics and Demography, Faculty of Economics, Moscow State University Valery Elizarov.

Some Russians do not register their marriage. This format of relationships is chosen for several reasons, but, as a rule, not for life.

"About half of unofficial unions are repeated, when a person had a bad experience and no longer wants to go to the registry office. In addition, young people live like this until the relationship is registered. But in the long term, such a union is less likely to survive - it does not couples are less likely to have children, while half of the cases when a birth is postponed is motivated by insecurity in a partner, in a registered marriage - only one in ten cases. than legal spouses," says Alexander Sinelnikov.

The attitude towards the possession and disposal of family property is also changing. The practice of concluding marriage contracts is becoming more and more popular, but it is still difficult to call it mass. You can draw up a contract at any stage of marriage.

"In the first half of the year, 49.8 thousand marriage contracts were concluded, despite the general decrease in the number of notarial acts during the pandemic. In our country, only property relations are regulated by a marriage contract: ways of bearing family expenses, the procedure for financial support in marriage and after a divorce. The conditions cannot violate the rights and freedoms of the spouses and contradict the law, otherwise the court will recognize such an agreement as invalid. Sanctions for treason, rudeness or unwashed dishes cannot be provided for in the marriage contract, "notary Irina Anikeeva says.

In which families are children born?

Children in Russia are preferred to have children in a legal marriage, although until the mid-2000s the proportion of extramarital births grew and reached 30%.

"Among children born out of wedlock, half are still registered with a specific father. Such children are more protected from a legal point of view: the mother can apply for alimony, receive a special allowance if the father is missing. Well, the right to inheritance , this should not be forgotten either," says Valery Elizarov.

The state supports children, regardless of whether they were born into a complete or incomplete family. For example, maternity capital is paid to everyone, and not only to those who are in a registered marriage. The same applies to benefits for large families and children with disabilities, personal income tax deductions.

State support motivates for births, sociologists admit, but the personal choice of parents remains important. The birth of the first child is increasingly being postponed, as is the wedding.

"If we talk about child free, only 1% of the students we interviewed said they were ready to give up having children. The rest want to have a child, almost half of the respondents - two, another quarter - three or more," says Tatyana Gurko .

The number of children in the country has increased in recent years, which is associated with the mother capital program. But there are other factors as well. Now sociologists are studying the "social contagion effect" - when the reproductive plans of one couple increase due to communication with other families with many children.

"Our idea of ​​having many children has normalized. Back in the 90s, it was associated with poverty, with trouble, there were more negative ones. Now among those who are well-to-do with families, there are many who have three or more children. We conducted a study among entrepreneurs, interviewed 400 people . Of these, 65% turned out to be large," says Elena Zhuravleva, expert of the National Parent Association.

"Now there are few women at the peak of their reproductive age, and we cannot make more of them. But we can create the conditions for them to want to have children. The more support a woman feels, the more boldly she decides to take such a step. For example ", in prosperous multigenerational families, the birth rate is usually higher. And from the experience of European countries, we know such an interesting thing: the higher the equality of spouses in family roles and responsibilities, the more children are born in the family," notes Valery Elizarov.

Women still spend more time at home and raising children than men. Especially on weekdays - by 4 and 3.5 times, respectively. But still, the distribution of responsibilities becomes more flexible.

"The wife is a housewife, and the husband is the sole breadwinner - this family model was common in the past, but you will not return to it. The traditional family in its modern form is rather where both work, but the spouse is less career-oriented. Except In addition, there are many couples where a woman earns more, and, according to sociological surveys, this, as a rule, is not considered a good reason for divorce," says Alexander Sinelnikov.

Now it is possible and necessary to agree on duties, psychologists believe. Russians cite the inability to compromise and selfishness as one of the main reasons for divorce.

Where does the habit of marriage lead?

Russians actively divorce and remarry. There are no exact statistics on such unions, since Rosstat only records the number of registrations, without specifying whether the first is a marriage, the second or the third. But sociologists at the HSE Institute of Demography believe that in some years the growth rate of remarriages outstrips the overall growth, for example, this was the case in 2011.

"The average duration of a marriage during a divorce is about ten years. After parting, almost half of people register a new relationship. Many have ceased to believe in marriage as a union for the rest of their lives and believe that if one spouse has stopped loving the other, he has the right to leave, even if they have children in common. Such results were obtained by employees of the Department of Family Sociology and Demography of the Faculty of Sociology of Moscow State University in 2019, interviewing 2. 5 thousand people. The fact that a husband no longer loves his wife or she loves him was recognized as a morally acceptable ground for divorce about 70% of respondents,” says Alexander Sinelnikov.

“By the age of remarriage, the disproportion between men and women changes. In cities, there are more women among residents of 40 years old, that is, it is increasingly difficult to find a groom in the second and subsequent marriages, ”says Valery Elizarov.

Among the younger generation, divorce is considered the norm, suggests Tatyana Gurko. Even representatives of the conservative south of Russia have become freer in their views.

"Since 2007, in Stavropol, the proportion of female students who agree with the statement that one can marry several times has almost doubled — from 29up to 50%. Among Muslim girls in 2018, 47% answered this way. Among young men, the attitude changed not so significantly, but there were fewer supporters of monogamy. Among Moscow students, about 60% believe that remarriages are normal. "

During the pandemic, due to restrictive measures, the number of registrations decreased, but the number of divorces fell more than marriages. In April - three times compared to the same period in 2019: 13.8 thousand vs. 48.6 thousand What matters here is how the institution of the family develops, and this is not a one-line process. For example, according to the Code of Marriage, Family and Guardianship of the RSFSR 19For 26 years, divorces were processed very easily, according to a statement from one side. Remember Ostap Bender, who learned about the dissolution of his marriage with citizen Gritsatsuyeva by notification from the registry office. In 1944, the divorce process was made complicated. The courts dealt with these cases as if it were a serious criminal offense: the hearings were held in public, they were reported in the newspapers, they needed a good reason for parting. But from the second half of the 1960s, everything returned to the path of liberalization. Now the divorce procedure in Russia is much simpler than in many other countries. People break up and believe that a new marriage will be stronger and happier, but this is not always the case, "says Alexander Sinelnikov.

"As a rule, remarriage is not the reason for the breakup of the first. Often after a divorce, a person lives alone for some time, and only then enters into a relationship. The appearance of new families is in any case good, no matter whether people register marriage or not. There is a high probability of having children together, because partners strive for this if they trust each other and see themselves together in the future," Alla Makarentseva is convinced.

Evgenia Gorkunova

Rosstat named the average age of marriage for Russians

Russia has published statistics showing at what age people in our country prefer to get married. According to registry office data, most Russians get married between the ages of 25 and 34. At the same time, the number of marriages in Russia is steadily declining.

According to new statistics, the majority of Russians marry between the ages of 25 and 34: approximately 456,600 men and 386,000 women officially married at that age over the past year. This was reported on the website of Rosstat.

According to the statistical service, in 2018, about 265.5 thousand Russians and 216 thousand Russian women were married at the age of 35 and older. The number of marriage unions concluded between the ages of 18 and 24 has halved since 2011: only 170,000 men and 285,500 women got married at this age over the past year.

Before reaching adulthood, girls are ten times more likely to start a family life than young men. 454 young men and about 4.5 thousand girls got married in Russia this year before the age of 18.

In total, 893 thousand marriages were registered in 2018, which, according to statistics, is one and a half times less than in 2011.

The data of the Ministry of Justice also confirm the decline in the number of marriages in the country in recent years. Statistics for 2018 show a figure that is 21% less compared to 2013 and 8% less compared to 2017. However, the number of divorces also decreased: in 2013, 696,000 divorces were registered, while last year - 613,000 (12% less).

According to Yuri Krupnov, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development, the decline in the number of marriages may have demographic reasons.

“Today's young people, conditionally 20-30 years old, are those who were born just in the difficult 1990s, when we had a colossal drop in the birth rate. Accordingly, today the young people themselves (both men and women) are simply physically smaller, ”Krupnov explained in an interview with RT.

However, not all experts are inclined to explain the reluctance of young Russians to marry because of the insufficient number of these same Russians. In 2018, when another statistics was published confirming the decline in the number of marriages, Candidate of Psychological Sciences, Associate Professor of Moscow State University named after M. V. Lomonosov, Alexander Rikel, in an interview with RIA Novosti, called the inhabitants of Russia, who are not yet 30, eternal children.

“Official statistics only confirm the stereotype that arises in society regarding the younger generation - these are the same people who are now 30 years old or younger. This generation is called in the West the "Peter Pan generation" - eternal children, basking in the rays of their infantilism and marrying late, giving birth to children, starting to live an independent life, ”the psychologist said.

Not so long ago, young Russians were reproached for marrying for the sake of a feast.

Tamara Pletneva, chairman of the State Duma committee on family issues, criticized the country's residents for their irresponsible approach to the issue of marriage and reproached the Russians for marrying for the sake of celebration itself.

According to the parliamentarian, young people do not take responsibility for divorce, because the most important thing for them is the holiday, which, as a rule, is held with the money of their parents.

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