Tags: marriage | unmarried | adults | percentage | survey

Number of Unmarried Americans Now Over 50 Percent

By    |   Friday, 12 Sep 2014 05:50 PM

For the first time, more than half of all Americans today are single but the ideal of marriage and children is far from dead — in fact, most young Americans still say that they want to get married someday.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that the number of Americans over the age of 16 who are unmarried leapt from 37.4 percent in 1974 to 50.2 percent today, covering 124.6 million people, a 2013 Gallup poll showed that 84.5 percent of high school senior girls and 77 percent of high school senior boys still believe marriage to be "extremely important." 

Many couples, according to a new study, are opting to live together without marriage, Bloomberg reports, with the number of people who have never married rising to 30.4 percent from 22.1 percent 30 years ago and divorced people making up 19.8 percent of Americans, compared to 15.3 percent in 1976. 

The number of young couples who opt to just move in together rather than get married has skyrocketed from 1.1 percent in 1960 to 11.6 in 2011, according to Family Facts, but researchers warn that marriage is still the ideal, and those couples who choose to "shack up" before marriage may be hurting their chances of ever having a successful, high-quality marriage. 

In a recent study reported by the National Marriage Project, it was discovered that, "Those who lived with their eventual spouse before having a mutual and clear commitment to marry reported lower levels of marital quality than those who waited until after planning marriage or getting married to move in together.

"Thirty-one percent of those who cohabited prior to having plans for marriage were in the top 40 percent of marital quality versus 43 percent of those who only cohabited after getting married or making a commitment to marry." 

The Daily Signal cites several studies which show that marriage is good for adults, allowing them to tend to live longer and have better health and higher income, but a new Harvard study shows that the effects of marriage, or the lack of marriage, on children cannot be underestimated. 

While over 40 percent of kids today are born outside marriage, this greatly lessens their chances for future success in life, the Daily Signal reports, adding, "Indeed, children who live in single-parent households are more than five times more likely to experience poverty than children in married-parent families.

Slate reports of the Harvard study, "This the first study to show that lower-income kids from both single- and married-parent families are more likely to succeed if they hail from a community with lots of two-parent families.

"Of all the factors most predictive of economic mobility in America, one factor clearly stands out in their study: family structure," Slate reports. "It looks like a married village is more likely to raise the economic prospects of a poor child." 

In addition, a recent report by the Brookings Institute concluded, "Children born into continuously married family have much better economic mobility than those in single parent families" 

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For the first time, more than half of all Americans today are single but the ideal of marriage and children is far from dead — in fact, most young Americans still say that they want to get married someday.
marriage, unmarried, adults, percentage, survey
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2014-50-12
Friday, 12 Sep 2014 05:50 PM
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