Single person

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A single person or, in colloquial terms, Anglicism as a single person is an adult who lives in the household without any social ties to a partner or without underage children. According to this definition, single parents are not singles. “ Single ” is a statistical term for one-person households , the attribute “ single ” is an official name for people who have never been married, “ bachelor ” is a slang term for the same situation.

To the history of the single person

Single people are not a modern phenomenon and in many cultures certain social roles were intended only for single people, e.g. B. Shamans in North Asia or wandering monks in the Chinese Empire . After the prohibition of the marriage of priests in 1139, the spiritual status as so-called world pastor was only possible for single men in Europe.

Single people have long been viewed as a special target group for advertising. The examples go back to the 18th century. In the Times in 1800, for example, an inventor advertised his table water kettle ( Lloyd's patented table water kettle from 1800 ) and explicitly addressed singles: "Single ladies or gentlemen, living in apartments ..."

There used to be dress codes in many societies: men and women willing to commit wore certain clothing accessories to signal that they were looking for a partner.

  • In some areas of the Black Forest, single women wore a Bollenhut (also called Black Forest hat ) with red balls, married women one with black balls.
  • In some areas, unmarried women wear their dirndl dresses with a bow on the left and married women on the right. These traditions have largely been forgotten or incompatible with today's fashion.


Lifestyles in the population,
Germany 2010
Life form proportion of
Married couples 44%
Communities 8th %
Single 43%
single parent 6%

Statistically , the terms are not clear. Singles are often understood to mean one-person households . However, they can definitely live in a partner relationship, even marriage with separate apartments. In its 2001 microcensus , the Federal Statistical Office determined that 17% of people lived in one-person households. In this microcensus, shared apartments were recorded as several one-person households. According to the 2005 microcensus of the Federal Statistical Office, 26% of all German women live without a partner (compared to 18% of men): 8.651 million single women and 2.236 million single parents.

In Switzerland (according to figures from 2005) 15% of people live in one-person households. The share of one-person households increased from 14% in 1960 to 36% in 2005 (in the cities even to more than 50%).

There are now more singles in the United States than married couples.

The monastery study confirmed that married people live longer than unmarried people. Married people have a significantly higher life expectancy compared to all other family classes, single people compared to widowed and divorced people . A Finnish study of over 1.5 million married people shows that losing a spouse results in a relative increase in mortality more than twice as high for men as for women.


Participant in a single party in 1996. Letters could be written to the distributed numbers.

The single issue is culturally reflected in literary or cinematic works such as Sex and the City , Singles - Lonely Together or Shopping .

As the British sociologist Jan Macvarish demonstrated in 2007, the media portrayal of single women has recently changed from the type of involuntarily lonely women ( Bridget Jones ) to women who, by virtue of their own sovereign decision, remain without a partner.

Legal term

The legal term single person is often used by the legislature, in particular in tax law there are special regulations (in Germany, among others, § 24b Income Tax Act , § 53 No. 2 Tax Code ), whereby a legal definition can be found in § 24b (3) EStG.


Web links

Wiktionary: Single  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Times . May 29, 1800, p. 2.
  2. Wiesn Dirndl costumes. Oktoberfest munich. In: Retrieved December 4, 2011 .
  3. Daily mirror. October 12, 2011, p. 20. Source: Federal Statistical Office
  4. a b Irene Jung: Women: In the USA more than half already live without a partner. In Germany, too, marriage is on the decline. Tired of marriage? In: Hamburger Abendblatt . August 13, 2007, accessed December 4, 2011 .
  5. Matthias Hohensee: Interview with Richard Florida: "Intolerant Places Die". In: Wirtschaftswoche . February 20, 2007, accessed December 4, 2011 .
  6. Marc Luy : Why women live longer. Findings from a comparison of the monastery and general population . In: Materials on Population Science . No.  106 . Federal Institute for Population Research , 2002, ISSN  0178-918X , DNB  965668789 , p. 12 f . ( [PDF; 1.5 MB ; accessed on December 6, 2015] Zugl. Diploma thesis 1998).
  7. P. Martikainen, T. Valkonen: Mortality after death of spouse in relation to duration of bereavement in Finland . In: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health . Vol. 50, 1996, ISSN  1470-2738 , pp. 264–268 , doi : 10.1136 / jech.50.3.264 ( online [PDF; accessed on February 15, 2012]).
  8. January MacVarish: The New Single Woman: Contextualising Individual Choice. Dissertation. University of Kent, 2007.