Young Americans not marrying

Marriage|April 4th 2017

The number of young married adults in the United States has dropped dramatically over the course of two generations.

Newly published research shows that only 40 per cent of Americans between 25 and 34 years old were married in 2015. By contrast, 68 per cent of the same age group were married in 1980. This represents a significant drop in the number of young people who had tied the knot.

This study was conducted by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Author Lydia Anderson wanted to compare how the lives of the ‘Baby Boomers’ generation – in this research this referred to people born in the US between 1945 and 1955 – compared to how ‘millennials’ currently live. Anderson defined this term as any American born between 1980 and 1990.

She found that only 20 per cent of Baby Boomers had never married whereas more than half – 53 per cent – of millennials were in this category.

Similarly, the number of young Americans who lived with a biological child also fell between these generations.  More than two thirds of Baby Boomers – 68 per cent – had at least one child of their own compared to only 55 per cent of millennials.

The results of this study were taken by comparing data from 1980 Census to figures from the 2015 American Community Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau.

Read the full NCFMR report here.

Photo by theaxis96 via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

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  1. Johnny says:

    Yup, it’s not surprising: the cost of weddings, marriage, kids and divorces have sky-rocketed in that time. While slightly more women than men are saying yes to weddings/marriage, kids AND divorces, it’s men who, trailing behind, and faced with shouldering the major part of the huge costs involved (particularly divorce), are saying NO.
    It’s a trend that seems very likely to continue.

  2. spinner says:

    It used to be that you *had* to be married to get ahead in your career or to have children but now you don’t so actually you could take this as a positive that the people who are married actually want to be together.

    If we could resolve the divorce issue then that would also remove the women who get married because they really aren’t very good at anything so they need a meal ticket for life and there would just be a core of people who actually truly love each other that much that they want to be together for the rest of their life and they need to for some reason show that to everyone else.

  3. D says:

    Does needing a legal construct to maintain a commitment sound a little like needing an all-powerful imaginary friend constantly watching you to prevent you from being bad? Either case, it doesn’t exactly make you a good person or say much about your commitment, especially as the commitment exit-able anyway.

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