The likelihood of being single in South Africa drastically increases for men and women aged between 18 and 34 years of age, it has been found. This trend was highlighted in Statistics South Africa’s (StatsSA) latest General Household Survey released on Tuesday.

More than 50% of men in South Africa and just under the same percentage of women are reported to be single.

According to StatsSA, this high number of single people may cause “social and economic consequences” in the country, as most consider families and households to be the most important social institutions and social reference groups. Many in South Africa rely on families for physical, social and economic wellbeing, as well as survival.

“Although traditional family structures are changing, they remain very important in countries such as SA, where large proportions of the population are subject to debilitating poverty and unemployment and institutional support is inadequate,” StatsSA said. 

The survey also found that cohabiting with a partner and marriage is much more common among women than it is among men in that specific age bracket.

This trend reverses among older age groups, however, as marriage and living together is much more common among 75% of males and 40% of females in the age group 60-74 years of age.

Comparatively, 80.6% of the women in the 75+ age group are single or widowed. In this same age group, 24.4% of males are single or widowed.

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.