As a dating coach, trends like this are big on my radar and this was a huge news story around December 14th.
A new report completed by the Pew Research Center announced that marriage trends are still declining in the United States, (as well as in Europe and other developed nations) as it has been for 50 years.
During the 1960’s, nearly 72% of adults in the US were married, compared to 51% today. I’m not quite sure what the big news is since the statistic that nearly 50% of the adult American population is single would mean that only half could be married. Perhaps important scientific research doesn’t include simple math…
However, another interesting statistic is the rising number of people who have never been married – that now hit 28% compared to just 15% back in 1960. In addition, people are getting married later in life, with both men and women marrying about 6 years later than their counterparts in the 60’s. Today, that means men are marrying at close to 29 and women at 26-1/2.
The statistics over the last 50 years show men always got married a few years later than women, so no change their in behavior.
While the report doesn’t provide reasons for the more recent change of new marriages being down about 10% for the last year or two, the economy is being blamed. Certainly makes sense given the average cost of a wedding today at $28,700!
I would say that a bigger contributor to the slow down in marriage is the fact that women NO LONGER NEED TO GET MARRIED. Today, women are financially independent and can support themselves. As dating coach for women dating over 40 or dating after divorced, women often tell me that unless the guy is something super special, they can’t be bothered thinking about getting married or having a relationship.
Given that anecdotal evidence, I guarantee this attitude strongly influences the number of Americans who are married. Many women are perfectly happy going solo, so they don’t want the hassle of having a man as part of their life. A lot of women who do want love and a man as a life partner, don’t want to marry and prefer other lifestyle choices.
Even though marriage trends may be down, there are other living together arrangements that were not part of this study. Living together/cohabitation has sky-rocked since the 1960’s which is not accounted for in this report. If you want to read the whole report, you can find it here.
Please don’t feel down about this. There will always be singles who are content as is and don’t want to marry. Today, more and more of them are women. Look at it this way – now you know for sure you have less competition to get married, since fewer women want the “Mrs.” designation!
It’s a new year just around the corner. What will you do to make finding love a priority? You could register for Sizzle vs. Fizzle Online which starts on January 16th.