Marriage Rates Hit Record Low Amid Grim Economy

Barely half of all adults in the U.S. are married, a new report covering 2009-2010 shows — the lowest percentage ever recorded. And the number of new marriages within that time dropped by five percent, an unusually stark decrease that the Pew Research Center's analysis of U.S. Census data could be due to the grim economic situation. "There’s been a retreat from marriage going on for awhile now," said the director of the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project. "The economic fallout from the Great Recession has made the retreat from marriage accelerate." That's partly because many Americans see economic stability as a prerequisite for marriage, and relatedly, lower-income Americans are less likely to be married than are higher-income ones. The study also found that ages of first marriages is at an all-time high, with women marrying at 26.5 on average and men at 28.7. While 59 percent of adults under 30 were married in 1960, only 20 percent are today.

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