More than half the population In North America is single, and nearly a third of households have just one resident.
In Stockholm, Sweden, sixty per cent of the people live by themselves.
The Oxford English Dictionary says in its usage notes for the word: The development of the word spinster is a good example of the way in which a word acquires strong connotations to the extent that it can no longer be used in a neutral sense.
From the 17th century the word was appended to names as the official legal description of an unmarried woman: Elizabeth Harris of London, Spinster.
Sometimes, this is coupled with celibacy or chastity, either for secular or for religious reasons, such as priests, nuns and monks in certain faiths.
People may remain single for a variety of reasons, including financial and emotional or physical health issues, stress in the family, time constraints, education, career, personal preferences, advanced age or social fears, living in a society or locality where there are an insufficient number of people of the preferred sex for romantic or sexual attraction, or simply extreme bad luck with finding anyone who will reciprocate an interest in a relationship.
Some single people, however, regard and appreciate solitude as an opportunity.
In some countries, particular laws may directly or indirectly disadvantage single persons.
In some cases, single people may be uninterested in marriage, domestic partnership, or other types of committed relationships.
Certain careers and positions require that people remain single.
In that situation, the law behaves as though the parties thought they were married when, in actuality, they were not.