American’s aren’t rushing to the alter anymore – they aren’t even strolling according to a new Pew Research Center report, which found little over half of all adults in the United States are married.
Fifty years ago, 72 percent of all adults age 18 and older were married but now only 51 percent are hitched. Researchers say if the trend continues fewer than half will be married within the next few years.
The number of new marriages declined by 5 percent between 2009 and 2010, a sharp one-year drop. The decline is possibly related to the poor economy. Young people in particular are opting not to get married. The study, which analyzed census data, found just 20 percent of adults age 18 to 29 are married, compared to 59 percent in 1960.
In the past half century the median age at first marriage has risen by about six years for both men and women – the median age at first marriage for brides is 26.5 years and for grooms 28.7.
Though only half of the country is currently married, about 72 percent have been married at one point – though this share is still down from 85 percent in 1960. Other living arrangements—including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood—have gone up.
Marriage in the United States will likely continue on a downward spiral as a Pew Research survey in 2010, showed nearly four-in-ten Americans say marriage is becoming obsolete.