Blog Post

Insight: Utah’s Single Population

By: Heidi Prior

Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect an institutional position of the Gardner Institute. We hope the opinions shared contribute to the marketplace of ideas and help people as they formulate their own INFORMED DECISIONS™.

Planning to attend your family Thanksgiving celebration without a date? You aren’t alone! When grandma asks why you aren’t married yet, try sharing these Census Bureau findings.

This blog includes data from the 2021 1-year American Community Survey and defines “single” or “unmarried” as a resident who never married or is divorced or widowed. Questions on marital status have been asked of the population 15 and over[i] since the 2008 ACS[ii]. The survey’s married population includes both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, a practice adopted by the ACS in 2013.

Utah features the smallest share of single adults in the nation.

In 2021, 43.6% of Utahns age fifteen and older were single. This was the lowest proportion of unmarried residents in any U.S. state, followed by neighboring states Idaho (44.1%) and Wyoming (44.8%). In contrast, Louisiana (54.4%), Rhode Island (53.7%), and New Mexico (53.6%) reported the highest proportion of single residents in the United States.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2021

Utah has long featured large households and a low percentage of single adults compared to other states. In 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010 Utah ranked in the bottom three states for its proportion of single residents.

In Utah single men outnumber single women, especially in younger age groups.

In Utah, m