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Thursday, December 15, 2011


Martial status is a key demographic variable. The Pew Research Center reports:

Barely half of all adults in the United States -- a record low -- are currently married, and the median age at first marriage has never been higher for brides (26.5 years) and grooms (28.7), according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data.
In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are. If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years. Other adult living arrangements-including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood-have all grown more prevalent in recent decades.
The Pew Research analysis also finds that the number of new marriages in the U.S. declined by 5% between 2009 and 2010, a sharp one-year drop that may or may not be related to the sour economy.
Read the full report for more detailed information on these subjects:
  • Newlywed trends
  • Share of Americans who are currently married by age group, race and education 
  • Age at which Americans marry
  • Public attitudes towards marriage
See also our series of reports on the "Decline of Marriage."
A Brookings study suggests that such trends may be problematic for social welfare policy.