U.S. Marriage Rate Drops to Record Low

Friday, December 16, 2011
It won’t be long before those married in the United States constitute less than a majority of all adults.
Today, barely more than half of all adults (51%) are married, according to the Pew Research Center. This rate is the lowest on record, as the percentage of married individuals has steadily declined over the past 50 years (from a high point of 72% in 1960).
“If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years,” it says in the new report. “Other adult living arrangements—including cohabitation, singleperson households and single parenthood—have all grown more prevalent in recent decades.”
Marriage has really fallen out of favor with young people. Only 20% of those under 30 are married—compared to 59% in 1960. The median age at which Americans first get married, 28.7 years for men and 26.5 years for women, is the highest ever recorded even though census figures for the topic go back to 1890.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Social and Demographic Trends (Pew Research Center) (pdf)

Age at First Marriage Hits Record High (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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