(CNN)Each year when Valentine's Day approaches, our thoughts turn to love, relationships and coupling.
As some anticipate the holiday that others dread, the spotlight is split between two groups: Those in relationships, and those who're not. While there are certainly perks to both lifestyles, when is it better to be coupled up, and when is it better to be living the single life?
TEAM MARRIED: In one corner, we have the wedded. According to the US Census, 128.8 million of Americans 18 and over were married in 2016, which translates to 52.7% of the adult population.
TEAM SINGLE: On the other side, we have the unattached, those 18 and over who have never been married, as well as divorcees, widows, widowers and those who're separated. There were 115.8 million single Americans in 2016, which is about 47.3% of the adult population. Forty-nine percent were women, and 45.5% were men.
Note: Obviously plenty of people in long term relationships and civil unions get a little bit of both the married and single world, legally and personally speaking.
When you have a significant other, you have a significant financial advantage: You can pool your financial resources and share the bills. If you both work, and make about the same amount, it can seem like you're getting a 100% raise. One often-cited 2005 study from Ohio State University found married people "experience a per person net worth increase of 77% over singles. Additionally, their combined wealth increases on average by 16% for each year of marriage." Another plus, if one partner loses his or her job, the other's income provides a safety net.
What about taxes?
Married couples don't automatically benefit when it's tax time. Depending on income, some are eligible for bonuses and certain deductions where singles aren't, but in certain situations, they are responsible for paying a tax penalty that could eat up a large portion of their combined salaries. For Social Security, one partner can claim a full spousal benefit, which is equal to one half of your husband or wife's retirement benefit.