Unmarried Americans are a growing segment of the population but vote less than their wedded counterparts in elections, tending to favor Democrats over Republicans, said a study published Friday.
Single Americans 15 years of age and older now account for 45.2 percent of the US population, against 34.4 percent in 1960, Women's Voices Women Vote said in its study titled "Unmarried America 2007: America's New Majority."
"Unmarried America represents the biggest change in American politics in 40 years and a defining divide in politics today," said the group in the study it commissioned to Lake Research Partners.
Women make up 56.4 percent of America's unmarried, said the study, adding that 47 percent of all US women live without a spouse, up from 35 percent in the 1950s.
But regarding civic duty, single people vote less than married people: 35 percent of voters were unmarried in the 2002 elections, and 37.2 percent in 2006, against 55 percent and 56.6 percent respectively for married people.
And when they do go to the polls, the study found, unattached people tend to vote for the Democratic Party, especially single women.
In the 2004 US presidential elections, single women voted for Democratic candidate John Kerry over US President George W. Bush -- who was up for reelection -- by a 62-37 percent margin, while married women voted for Bush by a 55-44 percent margin.
Single men in the same election voted 53-45 percent for Kerry, while married men voted 60-39 percent for Bush.
In the 2006 legislative elections, single women voted for Democratic over Republican candidates by a 66-32 percent margin, similarly to single men who also favored the Democrats by a 62-36 percent margin.
Married women in 2006 chose Republican candidates over Democrats by a margin of 50-48 percent, as did married men by 51-47 percent margin.
According to the study, unmarried people in the United States, half of whom lack higher education, "have a deep-seated level of cynicism toward the government and political system" and "lack information on how to register and how to vote."