Latest Marriage Stats: Alarming or Exciting?

A recent NY Times article states: Married couples have dropped below half of all American households for the first time, the Census Bureau says, a milestone in the evolution of the American family toward less traditional forms.

A little dramatic don’t ya think? I understand that less Americans are married than previous years, but I don’t think that this means the American family is undergoing a major evolution, that the future generation is going to be greatly disturbed or that marriage is dying. However, the stats are interesting and are worth thinking about. The article shares a few important factors that could have an effect on this marriage stat.

  • People are getting married later.
  • People are living longer, which means many will be widowed longer.
  • There’s been a large influx of immigrants in their 20s & 30s, unmarried.
  • More are choosing to live together without being married.

What the article really doesn’t spend much time addressing is what this Boston Globe article focuses on.

Divorce rates are also DECLINING.

There seems to be a correlation here. Like the NY Times article mentions, people are getting married later in life. Their waiting into their careers are more established. Trying not to make a hasty decision. Thinking about marriage as permanent. Whatever is taking them so long, it seems to be doing the trick. Because people are taking longer to get marriage, the divorce rates are as low as they were in the 70s. To me, this seems more promising than higher marriage rates AND higher divorce rates.

What do you think about the latest census stats? Good news or bad?

About Shana Bresnahan Interactive media evangelist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center that truly loves life, loves God and loves others. Wife to Casey. Owner of Minny. Aunt to 11. Advocate of transparency. (Opinions my own)
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2 Responses to Latest Marriage Stats: Alarming or Exciting?

  1. Great thoughts, Kyle! The concept of marriage is definitely being challenged on a daily basis in our culture and the government is trying it’s hardest to redefine what God originally defined. Many believers (including myself at times) are sitting politely in the pulpits watching, paralyzed by our tolerance or fear. Thanks for challenging us to know where we stand and have a voice.

  2. Kyle says:

    I think it’s a good thing that divorce rates are down. That means more couples who are getting married are staying together. It will be interesting to see though, where the progression takes us. It seems as though couples still get together, but society is not pressuring them as much to get married. More and more our culture seems to say marriage is more about rights and tax breaks than a loving union between a man and woman. So we have these different categories of “couples” forming: homosexual couples, friends with benefits, couples with “open” relationships, etc. Culture is saying, “Marriage that is between a man and woman is fine, but so are all these other relationships too. In fact some we’re even gonna call marriage too.” Pretty soon you’ll be seeing divorce rates for homosexual couples. What if they are lower than for heterosexual couples? How do we respond as Christians defending what God created marriage to be?

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