Tags: Marriage | Americans | millenials | decline

Record Number of Americans Have Never Married

Image: Record Number of Americans Have Never Married
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By    |   Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 12:40 PM

After decades of declining marriage rates, the number of Americans over the age of 25 who have never married reached a record high in 2012, according to a new report.

In 1960, about one in 10 Americans age 25 and older had never taken the plunge, but after decades of declining marriage rates the number has grown substantially, according to U.S. Census data analyzed by the Pew Research Center.

In 2012, the Pew Research Center reports, one in five (about 42 million) said they had never been married, including 23 percent of men and 17 percent of women.

In 1960, 10 percent of men were unmarried and 8 percent of women of the same age had never married.

Pew found the trend exists across racial and ethnic lines.

Among blacks, 36 percent have never been married, compared with 9 percent in 1960.

The share of single adults has roughly doubled during that time. In 2012, 16 percent of whites and 26 percent of Hispanics had never been married, Pew reported.

"The projections really suggest that there's more than just a delay going on here. People are more likely to be never married and stay never married as they reach middle age," said Kim Parker, director of social trends research at the Pew Research Center, and one of the report's authors. "That's a significant change."

The authors acknowledge that some Americans will marry later in life, but note that figure is relatively small.

In 2012, there were 71 first-time newlyweds for every 1,000 never-married adults ages 25 to 34. The rate dropped to 40 per 1,000 among never-married adults ages 35 to 44, and only seven per 1,000 among never-married adults ages 55 and older, said the report.

The researchers said financial obstacles were the main barrier preventing young adults from marrying. Almost 35 percent of those ages 25 to 34 cite financial security as the main reason for not being currently married, compared with 20 percent of those 35 and older.

The Pew Center's findings are consistent with previous studies of marriage in America. In 2013, USA Today reported that the number of marriages had reached record lows after a 5 percent decline during the recession.

An analysis conducted by private company Demographic Intelligence of Charlottesville, Va., found among Americans with a high school education or less, younger Americans, and the less affluent, rates either remained the same or declined. However, more women aged 25-34 and those with a college education were marrying more often, according to USA Today.

A 2011 Pew Research Center survey, however, found that Americans are divided over whether the decline in marriage rates and other changes to the family structure were of any consequence to society.

Asked whether society trends, such as a fewer marriages, gay marriage, unmarried couples raising children and more single women having children, 31 percent felt they bore little consequence, while 32 percent said those changes were "bad for society."

The remaining respondents (37 percent) expressed more tolerance for the changes, but also questioned whether they were good for society.

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After decades of declining marriage rates, the number of Americans over the age of 25 who have never married reached a record high in 2012, according to a new report.
Marriage, Americans, millenials, decline
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2014-40-24
Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 12:40 PM
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