Wednesday, March 01, 2023

US Marriage Rates In Steep Decline--60%

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A new study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) revealed that marriage in the United States has declined precipitously in the last half-century — by nearly 60%.


And what is the impact on adults, kids, and the culture?

Be informed, not misled.

The stats show marriage is in decline in our country.

While national marriage rates have continuously fluctuated between the 1890s and 1960s, with peaks and troughs in between, there has been a consistent decline since the 1970s according to the survey by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research.

The marriage rate in 1970 stood at 76.5%, today, however, is down by more than half at 31.1%. 

Sociologist Andrew Cherlin of John Hopkins University noted that NCFMR’s findings reveal that the formal benefits of marriage are continuing to dwindle as the rise of cohabitation and co-parenting has eroded historic social pressures.

“It used to be a basic institution that everyone had to buy into in early adulthood,” Cherlin told Axios on Saturday. “You got married, then you moved in together, and then you got a job.”

No question that marriage rates have dropped, but for those of us who believe marriage is a God-ordained union between a man and a woman, there are some good signs as well.

Some interesting facts about marriage trends.

The new research paper underscores divergent marriage rates by race and ethnicity. Although women as a whole have seen marriage rates decline since the 1950s, these changes have been particularly pronounced for blacks and Hispanics.

Currently, “the racial/ethnic group with the lowest proportion married is Black women (26%), and the group with the highest is Asian women (56%).”

Women getting married for the first time in their lives, a demographic group that falls between 40 and 59, have seen their numbers skyrocket in recent years. Since 1990, NCFMR co-director Susan Brown found that delayed marriages have increased by 75%.

Americans are increasingly forgoing or delaying marriage — a dramatic shift from societal norms a generation ago.

What's happening?

"Taxes and some other legal structures still give an advantage to married couples, but the formal benefits of marriage are diminishing," says Cherlin. "And the societal pressure to marry has eroded dramatically."

"Life is still a bit easier if you're married," he said." But many of the life events we link to marriage, such as cohabitating or having kids, are increasingly occurring outside of marriage."

Interestingly, even as the marriage rate is falling, the institution still holds value in the U.S., according to Susan Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research.

"It used to be a basic institution that everyone had to buy into in early adulthood," Cherlin said. "You got married, then you moved in together, and then you got a job."

"Marriage is now becoming the last step into adulthood. And it's an optional step. People are more likely to want to finish their education, find a job and pay off debt before getting hitched."

Some good news about marriage.

The National Review also notes that the NCFMR study shows Americans are increasingly forgoing or delaying marriage — a dramatic shift from societal norms a generation ago.

However, academic studies about American social attitudes toward marriage have not changed considerably despite the rapidly changing wedding landscape. Whereas nearly 75% of high school seniors surveyed in 1976 expressed an interest in getting married, that number only dropped by three percent by 2020.

This younger generation apparently sees the value of marriage and the institution of marriage.

Wendy Patrick, J.D., Ph.D. has written an excellent article for Psychology Today titled, "The Advantages of Marriage Over Cohabitation."

I suggest you read it.

Her four key points are:

  • The commitment of marriage is more satisfying than cohabitation.
  • Tying the knot often strengthens relationships.
  • Formalizing a partnership creates investment.
  • Marriage is celebrated as a significant life event.

Most importantly: Marriage between a man and a woman is God's plan. 

Jesus said in Matthew 19:4-6: 

4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

God designed marriage for three primary purposes: companionship, procreation, and redemption. These purposes are still relevant today and are essential for a healthy society.


Companionship is the first purpose of marriage. In Genesis 2:18, the Lord said it wasn’t good for man to be alone.

God designed marriage so that man and woman could have a close relationship. This relationship is based on love, trust, and communication and provides a picture of our relationship with the Lord.

Marriage is where husband and wife can come together to share their lives and experiences. A healthy marriage should be a refuge from the world where couples can find comfort and support.


The second purpose of marriage is procreation. God designed marriage so couples could have children and raise them in loving homes. Children are a blessing from God, and it’s important that they be raised in a home where they can learn about God’s love. 

In addition, children need two parents who can provide love and guidance. A family grounded in God’s principles will be much more likely to succeed than one that doesn’t have this foundation.


The third purpose of marriage is redemption. God designed marriage so that man and woman could come together and be saved from their sins. 

When husband and wife come together in holy matrimony, they commit to God’s plan for their lives. This plan includes raising children in a God-fearing home and helping each other stay on the path to salvation. 

A healthy marriage is built on Jesus Christ and His teachings.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful.