Tags: Marriage | Census

Long-Lasting Marriages Tick Upward

Sunday, 22 May 2011 10:27 AM

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The number of couples in long-lasting marriages has risen 3 percent during the past decade. The Census Bureau found that three in four couples who married in 1990 made it to their 10th wedding anniversaries, three points higher than those who married in the early 1980s, The Washington Post reported.

Demographers and sociologists chalk the longevity up to the fact that people are getting married later in life after they have completed school, are more financially secure, and are more mature.

Andrew Cherlin, a Johns Hopkins sociologist, told the Post, “People seem to be finding a new marriage bargain that works for 21st-century couples. It’s based on pooling two incomes, replacing the old breadwinner-homemaker bargain that worked well in the ’50s.”

W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, said, “Marriage has become a much more selective institution in today’s society.”

“People who are college-educated, more affluent or more religious are more likely to get married and stay married. People who are not are less likely to get married in the first place, and if they do marry, they’re more likely to divorce,” he told the Post.

Census statistics show that more than half of married couples have been together at least 15 years, a third have marked their 25th anniversaries, and 6 percent have been married more than 50 years. Nonetheless, about 4 in 10 marriages end in divorce, and the number of people never marrying is rising.

In 1986, 1 in 4 people ages 25 to 29 had never married, but in 2009, almost half of that age group had never married. The number of adults 50 to 54 who have never married jumped to 1 in 10 in the same period, the Post reported.

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