Fewer Americans are tying the knot. According to the Pew Research Center, barely half of adults in the United States are currently married, a record low.
Only 51 percent of people, adults ages 18 and older, are currently married, as opposed to 72 percent in 1960, the Pew Center found. “If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years,” the Pew Center reported.
For the report, Pew researchers analyzed US Census data from 1960 and data from American Community Surveys from 2008-2010, CBS News reported. The sharpest decrease of marriages was 5 percent between 2009 and 2010. Researches said this decline “may or may not” be due to the economy, CBS News reported.
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The research did show that the number of adults living together, single-person households and single parents are on the rise in recent decades, the BBC reported. Marriage declines have hit all age groups. Only 20 percent of adults 18 to 29 are married, compared with 59 percent in 1960. Pew researchers pointed out that over the past 50 years the median age at first marriage has risen by about six years for both men and women.
Although Pew, a non-partisan polling organization, studied the trends and data to come up with these numbers, the researchers indicate there’s no way for them to figure out exactly why marriage has declined among Americans. Researchers did not it declined far less for people with college educations than among the less educated.
The US isn’t the only country with marriages on the decline. Pew pointed out a recent United Nations report that analyzed marriage trends in the context of their impact on fertility, with female age at first marriage rising from the 1970s to the 2000s in 75 of the 77 countries included in the survey. The age increase was most mainly n developed nations.
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