Erica Pandey at Axios:
Americans are increasingly forgoing or delaying marriage — a dramatic shift from societal norms a generation ago.
By the numbers: Over the last 50 years, the marriage rate in the U.S. has dropped by nearly 60%.
What's happening: Taxes and some other legal structures still give an advantage to married couples, but the formal benefits of marriage are diminishing, said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins. And the societal pressure to marry has eroded dramatically. "Life is still a bit easier if you're married," he said. But many of the life events we link to marriage, such as cohabitating or having kids, are increasingly occurring outside of marriage.
Reality check: Even as the marriage rate is falling, the institution still holds value in the U.S., said Susan Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research.Case in point: High school seniors' attitudes toward marriage have remained relatively stable over the past several decades.
In 1976, 74% of seniors said they expected to get married, and in 2020, 71% said so, according to an ongoing University of Michigan study.