The number of single people has been growing for more than a half-century. Of all Americans who are unmarried, the biggest proportion of them, by far, are people who have never been married. Yet not much research has focused specifically on this group. Maybe that’s in part because the percentage of people who stayed single all their life has, in the past, been fairly small. But that may be changing.

There is one exception to my claim that lifelong single people are rarely studied. There are many studies examining the link between marital status and various measures of health and well-being, and those studies sometimes include people who are never married as a separate group. The goal of those studies, though, is nearly always to try to show that married people are doing better than everyone else – a conclusion that ranks somewhere between vastly overstated and just plain wrong. You can find discussions of those studies here. Below are answers to some other questions about people who have always been single.

How many people have been single all their life?

What has changed for single Americans in the last decade?

How many people choose to be single?

How many Americans want to be single? Results from 5 studies

Are there more lifelong single women or men?

Strengths and resilience of lifelong single people: The evidence

Lifelong Singles in Later Life: Stereotype-Defying Findings

Women who stayed single, no kids, in their 70s: How are they doing?

Who does best at being single?

The profound rewards of staying single

Why some people just love being single

People who choose to be single value their friends more, have more satisfying social lives

What makes single people happy?

Beyond happiness: A psychologically rich life is a good life

How do you know if you are living authentically?

Singles value freedom more and get more happiness out of it

Men and women who have always been single are doing fine

The badass personalities of people who like being alone

Fear not: the strengths and advantages of people who are unafraid to be single

The special place of friends in the lives of people who choose to be single

Oh, the things you can do if you are single!

Are single people happy because they are free?

In later life, lifelong singles do better than divorced or widowed people

Singles value meaningful work – and did so even in high school

Married people enjoy higher status but no higher life satisfaction or self-esteem than lifelong single people: 30-nation study

7 kinds of spinsters

19 ways single people are doing way better than you realized

17 things no one ever told you about single people

The rarely recognized route into the Black middle class: Staying single and living alone

Happily single for life

People who stay single get happier and happier over the course of their adult lives

Being single isn’t just better than bad relationships

In later life, people who stayed single are doing better than people who were once married

If you’ve been single all your life, you have a lot to be proud of

Single people value freedom more and get more happiness out of it

Milestones worth celebrating beyond marriage and children

No need to marry, have kids, to be fulfilled, survey results show

Yes, we really do want lifelong singlehood

The deep rewards of a deeply single life

Women who are comfortably single at midlife

Single life as a ‘satisfying choice and a profound threat’

How to be happily single for life

A positive psychology of single life

Thriving despite the stereotyping and stigmatizing

“No one really wants to be single”: 9 ways we are misled into believing that

Single People Aren’t to Blame for the Loneliness Epidemic

People get mad at you if you say you chose to be single: What’s up with that?

The emotional life of single people

Romantic relationship virgins: There’s been too much shame around this topic

That spinster stigma study: Others ignore you or they are intrusive

When will we be able to say, without getting ridiculed, that we want to stay single?

What no one ever told you about people who are single

Some questions about staying single

Single, No Children: Who Is Your Family?

What do single women really want?

No, I’m not married. Why do you ask? (with Joan DelFattore)

Are lifelong single people more introverted than people who marry?

7 questions to help you decide if you should stay single

Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After

The Best of Single Life

Alone: The badass psychology of people who like being alone