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Unmarried people in US hits all-time high

The number of people in the United States who have never been married has hit an all-time high, new data indicates.

Washington DC think tank the Pew Research Center analysed a combination of official census data and the results of their own surveys. They found that 23 per cent of men and 17 per cent of women aged 25 or older had never married. This represents roughly 42 million people.

Pew’s researchers also projected that a significant portion of young Americans, 25 per cent, would never get married.

The results also suggested a dramatic rise in people either putting off marriage until later life or avoiding it altogether over the last few decades. In 1960, only nine per cent of people in that age group had never been married.

Roughly a quarter of the people who have never married were cohabiting with a partner. In one of Pew’s questionnaires, the public was asked about the value of marriage in contemporary society. While 46 per cent of people said society was better off if marriage and children were a priority, 50 per cent said it was just as well off if people had other priorities.

Despite these numbers, the majority of those surveyed believed that marriage was important if a couple intends to spend the rest of their lives together.

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics found that the number of unmarried couples living together is on the rise, and predicted that, by 2016, the majority of babies will be born to unmarried parents.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Luke says:

    “Pew’s researchers also projected that a significant portion of young Americans, 25 per cent, would never get married.”

    Maybe I’ll be wrong but I see the rate dropping further. The tradition and parental/peer pressure to marry is still enormous, but the rate has kept declining – and as cohabiting becomes more and more the “norm” and acceptable this pressure to marry is likely to continue to decline.
    Women generally regard most men as unacceptable for marriage and the disincentives for men to marry are now so enormous it is hard to see it recover.
    I know my views are not typical but I see marriage as a slave contract for men and in the long term causing unhappiness for women, I wish it was not the case but that’s my experience through friends and colleagues.
    I can honestly say I don’t know ONE marriage of 20 years standing where I think to myself ‘I wish I had that’, I used to think I knew one until I spoke to this women once whilst her husband wasn’t there – she was absolutely scathing about him (probably justifiably when I look back on my exchanges with him) but would still never consider divorce – I was shocked.
    I am not saying that I have not seen ANY long standing couples that are happy – but the guys in those marriages seem to have a testosterone bypass and they operate more like two women 🙂

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