O: Singles and Starters

Young singles starting out and some starter families living a city lifestyle

11.06% of households and 6.98% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 25-30
  • Household income less than $15,000
  • 1 person household
  • Renter
  • Very high level of technology adoption

Key Features

  • Rental housing
  • Single adults
  • Politically disengaged
  • Engage via radio
  • Foodies
  • Digitally savvy



The six types in Singles and Starters contain fresh Generation Yers with upwardly mobile aspirations. Concentrated in small cities across the country, these households tend to be young with eight out of ten being under the age of 35, and unattached—more than half are single while a quarter are single-parents. Most are on their own and starting to build independent lives in apartments alongside other young singles. They’re college-educated, on their way to holding a degree, and many are starting their professional careers at entry-level positions as young professionals. These self- described workaholics share a desire to move up in status and they realize that every career journey starts with a first step.

Singles and Starters live in satellite cities across the country, including a number of college towns like Madison, Wis.; Austin, Texas; Bloomington, Ind.; and Tallahassee, Fla. Housing costs are low—the price of a house is below the national average— but most residents rent units in low- and high-rise apartment buildings that were built during the last three decades. Many are attracted to the college-town atmosphere of their communities with their commercial landscape of boutiques, pizza joints, cinemas and bookstores. However, since they are typically living in their first apartments, they’re hardly committed to staying in their neighborhoods for any length of time. Almost three quarters have lived at the same address for fewer than three years.

Singles and Starters have active leisure lives. Because so many live in relatively small apartments, they spend a lot of time outside their homes going to bars, nightclubs and movies. Still in the dating scene, these 20-somethings like to stay fit by jogging, playing football and basketball. When they finally relax at their apartments, they’re likely to listen to a wide range of music and pursue hobbies like painting and cooking. Many prefer to spend time with friends in activities that take advantage of their city amenities.

Singles and Starters are active and aspirational consumers. They like to wear the latest styles and search for designer labels they can afford at mid-market retailers and chains like Burlington Coat Factory, Express and Forever 21. Their interest in the latest styles extends to home design. This group provides a good marketing opportunity for the makers of electronics, given their tendency to buy new and emerging technology and handheld devices. Singles and Starters like to be plugged in to the latest trends.

Singles and Starters are too busy for most traditional media. They’re not in the habit of reading a daily newspaper or magazines, but they are the most likely group to subscribe digitally. They consume most entertainment on devices including streaming TV. They like having a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack to their activities, keeping their radios tuned to stations that play pop hits, hip-hop and R&B.

The young members of Singles and Starters are super active online, using the internet for shopping, communication, entertainment and finding job opportunities. These Americans have integrated the internet into their lifestyles, going online with their cell phones or desktop computers, whether from home, school or when out and about.

About 30 percent of Singles and Starters are politically involved—at least when it comes to officially voicing their vote on a ballot, and their below-average voter registration rates undercuts their impact as a constituency. They are liberals who most often align themselves with the Democratic Party.