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The Single Women Transforming America’s Cultural Landscape

Who needs more than an apartment when you're not getting married or having kids?

by
Helen Smith

Bio

February 4, 2013 - 3:00 pm

Women are driving the demand for the rental market according to this CNBC article:

In fact, even as housing and the greater economy improve, a shift in demographic trends will likely favor the rental apartment market for the foreseeable future. It is all about women….

“What drives demand for single family homes is, ‘Oh honey, I’m pregnant,” says Buck Horne, a housing analyst at Raymond James.

But those words are being uttered less and less. Horne claims the shift in female education, marriage and fertility rates will drive rental apartment demand going forward. He points to a growing educational imbalance, that is, 3.1 million more women enrolled in college than men and 4 million more college-educated women in the workforce than men.

“That creates a structural imbalance in the number of suitable partners. Women leave college with good income prospects and are not finding suitable husbands and fathers,” says Horne.

Consequently, the millennial generation is delaying marriage and motherhood, and birth and fertility rates are dropping. The female fertility rate is at its lowest level in recorded U.S. history, according to the Centers for Disease Control/Raymond James research. 41 percent of children are born out of wedlock. Horne’s research finds single mothers prefer living closer in to cities and staying in full amenity apartment rentals. This all points to more structural, long-term demand for rental housing.

Though this article is concerned about the impact of renters on the long term structure on the housing market, my main concern is the impact of single women and mothers on the structure of our culture and government. Will they demand a “full amenity” government just as they do a full amenity apartment rental?

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image courtesy shutterstock / Rob Hainer

Cross-posted from Dr. Helen

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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