Hitting their stride: Most runners are single and employed

April 25, 2018

More than one-quarter of all adult Americans (26.4%) have gone running or jogging during the past year, according to findings of a poll conducted by Nielsen Scarborough and released on April 13.

However just 5% run competitively—regularly participating in foot races, such as a marathons, half marathons, triathlons and 5K races.

In total, over one million hit the pavement daily, whether they are trying to score a medal or to get into shape.  And interestingly enough, whether it’s because of family commitments or pure exhaustion, they are not as likely to be in a relationship as they are to be single. In fact, they are 38% more likely to be unattached and never married than they are to have a spouse or partner waiting at home.

And single or married, people who have gone running within the past year are also more likely to be employed, have a college degree and fall into higher income brackets than are non-runners.

Finally, don’t be fooled by geography. Since New York City, Chicago and Boston are home to some of the most well-known marathons on the planet, you might think these metro areas would have the most runners per capita.

But that’s not the case. In Houston, Salt Lake City and San Diego, 35% or more of the adult population has gone for a jog in the past year. By comparison, the stats are 31% in Chicago, 28% in Boston and 26% in New York City.

Research contact: sonya.ford@nielsen.com

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