(via CityLab/the Martin Prosperity Institute)

More than half of people in the United States are single for the first time since the government began tracking data in 1976, led by states as diverse as Mississippi, New York and New Mexico.

There are 27 states where single adults make up more than half the population, according to data assembled by CityLab and the Martin Prosperity Institute. Louisiana and Rhode Island lead with 55.7 percent, followed by New York at 55.4 percent, Mississippi at 54.9 percent, New Mexico at 53.6 percent, and California at 53.5 percent.

The states with the lowest percentages of single adults are mostly clumped together around the Mountain West and Midwest. Utah has the lowest percentage at 43.7 percent, followed by Idaho at 44.4 percent, Wyoming at 46.4 percent, Iowa at 46.7 percent,  and Nebraska at 46.9 percent.

When broken by metro area, college towns are the most single.


(via CityLab/the Martin Prosperity Institute)

Gainesville, Fla., home of the University of Florida, is No. 1, with 62.1 percent, Ithaca, N.Y., home of Cornell and Ithaca College, follows at 61.8 percent, and College Station-Bryan, Tex., home of Texas A&M, has 60.8 percent.

The least single metro areas are San Jose, at 47.1 percent, Salt Lake City, at 47.3 percent, and Raleigh, N.C., at 47.8 percent.

The increase in single adults since 1976, when the figure was at 37.4 percent, has “implications for our economy, society, and politics,” economist Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research Inc., which completed the report, said, since singles are more likely to rent than own homes, and are less likely to have children.

“While they have less household earnings than married people, they also have fewer expenses, especially if there are no children in their households,” he wrote.