Is there a marriage crisis in America? According to research, the proportion of those married in the U.S. is at its lowest point since at least 1920. The central question, of course, centers on why there’s been such a stark decline.
The Pew Research Center found that just half of Americans aged 18 and older were married in 2015, but that proportion was 72 percent back in 1960, showcasing how that dynamic has changed over the decades.
Without a doubt, people today are staying single longer, with the median age of one’s first marriage hitting the highest point ever measured — 27.4 years for women and 29.5 years for men, as Pew noted.
And research that Pew conducted back in 2014 found that people who were unmarried had a plethora of reasons for not tying the knot, ranging from not being ready to settle down to being financially unprepared to make the move.
To provide just a small snapshot into the issue: 33 percent of unmarried people between the ages of 18-24 said the main reason they weren’t married is because they are too young. Thirteen percent of people between ages 25-34 and 11 percent of people aged 35 and older agreed. On the financial front, these proportions were 26 percent, 34 percent and 20 percent.
Other factors include increases in the percentage of young people going to college and cohabitation, Pew reported.
In the end, other research corroborates that marriage is on the decline. As Deseret News reported in 2015, the U.S. Wedding Forecast from Demographic Intelligence found that year that there was a marriage rate of 6.74 per 1,000 people, down from 7.09 in 2008.
But there are some encouraging indicators, as a 2013 Pew survey found, though, that “love” is still the predominant reason people get married, with 88 percent citing it as a motivating factor; just 28 percent cited financial security.
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