Why being an "Indie Woman" rules

Mar 8, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. ET

The new "Indie Woman" isn't a sad-sack Bridget Jones type or a lovelorn shut-in. According to new research, childless women over 27 who live alone are successful, social and — most importantly — happy.

Hip single woman

When it comes to how American women live, the times, they are a-changin'. For the first time in history, less than half (49 percent) of adult women in the U.S. are married. Compare that to 50 years ago when 75 percent of all adult women were married. With so many single ladies making up the U.S. population, it's high time to readjust our perception of what it means to be a single, childless woman in the year 2013.

Let's tick off some unmarried woman stereotypes: Sad. Cat lady. Antisocial. Hates men. And those are just the ones we can think of off the top of our heads. A new poll from NBCUniversal Integrated Media’s The Curve Report shows that there are a ton of tropes about unmarried, childless women past the average marrying age of 27 who choose to live alone — "Indie Women" — that simply aren't true.

A few stereotype-busting facts

  • Seventy-seven percent of Indie Women agree that they are perfectly happy being single and only 27 percent agree that they would be happier than they are now if they had gotten married at age 27.
  • Indie Women are no more likely to own a cat and are actually a tiny bit less likely in the U.S. Twenty-seven percent of all women in the U.S. own a cat, while a slightly below index, 26 percent of Indie Women, own a cat.
  • Indie Women are the nation’s fastest-growing voting bloc (many experts credit single women for President Obama’s victory).
  • Indie Women contribute more than $1 trillion to the national economy annually and spend more per capita than any other type of woman on dining out, shelter (rent or mortgage), home furnishings, new cars, car leases, recreation, entertainment and apparel.

Statistics are great, but we wanted to ask a few Indie Women themselves why they love their lives or, to put it bluntly, why being an independent woman is flat-out awesome. Here's what they said:

  • "I can go where I want, work where I want, buy what I want, and come home to a peaceful home! Heck, I even volunteer when and where I want!"
    - Aleasa, 44

  • "The silence! Being a publicist requires/demands social interaction with people all day, every day, so silence is the prize I value the most, as it's imperative that I have time to recharge."
    - Sandy, 30

  • "Reasons it's great to be independent: The food you bought is still in the fridge. You can keep the house the temperature you want. There are no dirty socks. Things don't go missing around the house, bathroom, closet, garage... There is always gas in the car."
    - Deb, 49

  • "Being able to cuddle my dog without someone getting jealous."
    - Heidi, 45

  • "I love the freedom I have to go on vacations with my girlfriends whenever I want, with no one commenting about how much money I'm spending; go out — or stay in — on my own terms without having to check with anyone first; and flirt and date several men at once and never feel guilty about it! But above all of that, I think the biggest plus about not living with a man is that I never have to listen to anyone complaining or whining about anything."
    - Liz, 39

  • "My favorite thing about being single is the freedom to make travel decisions. I travel from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland and Europe and enjoy being able to go online and make my arrangements without checking with my significant other."
    - Katharine, 52

  • "The best part is never having to answer to anyone. I recently bought a mink coat, which I didn't need since I already had one, in the space of five minutes. I saw it, tried it on, fell in love and bought it. It is the most wonderful feeling to be able to do it alone."
    - Miriam

  • "The bathroom is all mine in the morning, in the evening! The toilet seat is always down. No one says to me, 'Honey, you're getting a little... um... plump.'"
    - Riya, 35

  • "The greatest thing for me is knowing my self-worth. I can volunteer and channel my energy toward things that bring me joy. I don't have to get someone to believe in my vision. I can see it clearly and can define who I am on my own terms without having to justify everything I do."
    - Vannessa, 32

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