Marriage Is in Decline, but Why?

New census data has revealed that the percentage of American adults who have never been married is higher than ever.

In 2012, one out of every five adults older than 25 claimed to never being married. In 1960, the rate was half–only about one in 10.

Among young adults, this downward trend toward perpetual, or extended, single-hood is more apparent than ever. The Pew Research Center said that in 1960, about 68 percent of people in their 20s were married. In 2008, only 26 percent were married. In some parts of the USA, notably urban areas and some northeastern states, getting married before the age of 30 has become a rarity.

Reports cite several potential reasons for this, including:

  1. The economy (34% of young adults say financial security prevents them from tying the knot)
  2. Increasing numbers of women in the workforce, and focused on career-building
  3. The availability of contraceptives (perhaps children lead to marriage as much as marriage leads to children)
  4. Cultural acceptance of cohabitation,
  5. cultural acceptance of non-married couples having children
  6. Same-sex marriage laws (though, this is has now become a moot issue)
  7. Some believe that our culture’s shifting value of marriage could be the cause.

So, what do you think? Changing definitions, decreased social taboos, federal legislation, economic hardship — why do you think marriage rates are declining?

In the webcast below, Dr. Anthony Centore Speaks with Counselor Curtiss Robinson about the Blessings and the Challenges of Getting Married After 30:

If you’d rather listen to the audio version, see below:

Is marriage’s popularity becoming a thing of the past? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.