Happy Unmarried and Single Americans Week

art of woman looking at cityscapeIt’s little known among the nation’s observances, but the third week in September is Unmarried and Single Americans Week (September 18 -24). Founded in the 1980s by the Buckeye Singles Council in Ohio, National Singles Week was later renamed to include unmarried people who did not identify with the term “single” (because they are parents, have partners, or are widowed, etc.).

The purpose of the week is to recognize single people and the contributions they make to society, which can often feel “designed” for married couples and families.  There are more unmarried American adults than ever before (45 percent of those 18 and over, according to the U.S. Census Bureau), and it’s a special time to acknowledge them. After all, being single does not mean anything is wrong with you any more than being married means you are perfect.

Here are some resources in San Jose Public Library’s collection that are for and about single people:

Going Solo Book CoverGoing Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone
by Eric Klinenberg

According to author Eric Klinenberg, the percentage of Americans who live alone has risen from 9% in 1950 to 28% in 2011. This 2012 book takes a look at the wide ranging lifestyles and demographics of people who live alone, and how many people are content doing so.

All The Single Ladies Book CoverAll The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation
by Rebecca Traister

This 2016 bestseller looks at the history of unmarried women in America, how they helped shape our nation, and proposes policy changes to improve the lives of single women (and men).

It's Not You, coverIt's Not You : 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single
by Sara Eckel

Single women hear a lot of advice (read: criticism) about what to change about themselves to attract romance, ranging from “You’re too independent” to “You’re too needy.” In this book, Modern Love columnist Sara Eckel busts these myths in favor of “you’re single because you just are.” She also points out many positive ways single people tend to make a difference to their friends, families, and communities.


Singled Out, coverSingled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored and Still Live Happily Ever After
by Bella DePaulo (Requestable through LINK+)

The author debunks commonly held myths about singlehood and challenges economic and social discrimination that single people face.



DVD Cover: The LobsterThe Lobster
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz.

Also now available on DVD from the library is the 2016 movie The Lobster. In the dystopian world of The Lobster, people are by law turned into animals if they stay single for too long. It's a dark, absurdist satire on societal pressure placed on singles.

More statistics about unmarried Americans are available on Facts for Features on the U.S. Census Bureau Web site.

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