The marriage rate in the United States has fallen to a record low, with 6.5 marriages occurring for every 1,000 people.
The Wall Street Journal cited data from the National Center for Health Statistics that showed the marriage rate is at its lowest figure since 1867, which was when the federal government started tracking the information.
The marriage rate plummeted 6% in 2018. In 2017, there were 6.9 marriages recorded for every 1,000 people.
"Millennials are in peak marriage years, their 20s and 30s, and it's still dropping," Sally Curtin of the National Center for Health Statistics told the Journal. "This is historic."
The marriage rate has fluctuated over the years: it dropped during the Great Depression, increased after World War II before declining, increased again during the 1960s, and then went on a near 30-year decline starting in the early 1980s. There was a slight rebound in the middle part of the 2010s before it fell again.
It's unclear why the rate has fallen again in recent years, but it parallels a decline in the U.S. birth rate.
The coronavirus pandemic could deliver another blow to the marriage rate, at least temporarily, as couples postpone weddings due to social distancing guidelines.
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