Friday / Weekend Open Lines

Throughout history, bachelors have had to put up with a lot of pressure from friends, family and society in general. They tend to be stereotyped, and many television sitcoms deal with their supposedly hapless lives. But no insult can rival that enacted in Missouri on this date 1820, when the legislature voted to tax bachelors between the ages of 21 and 50 $1 a year — just for being unmarried. Obviously, the tax did not stand the test of time or legality. Today, around 34 percent of males over age 15 have never been married, compared with over 28 percent of females. Together, they number just over 77 million people, nearly a quarter of the total population. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy from the American Community Survey at <>.