For the most part, I’m not big on statistics, mainly because those scary, quiet people in little basement offices find ways to turn numbers into whatever they want them to say. However these statistics on marriage don’t surprise me, though I do find them interesting. So I’m just going to throw some numbers out there without comment.
According to the Pew Research Center, the American marriage rate hit a rock bottom of 50.3% in 2013. In 1960, the marriage rate was 72.2%. The main reason for decline? Millennials are deciding to opt out of traditional relationships and choosing instead to live at home. In 2012, 45% of 18-30 year olds lived with older family members. In 1980 it was 35%.
Also interesting, 41% of babies born today are born to single mothers. That’s 2.5 times higher than in 1980 and a whopping 19 times higher than in 1940. Additionally, Americans are also having fewer children. Nearly half of all child-bearing women did not have children in 2014, the most since the U.S. Census began tracking this statistic in 1976.
Interestingly, married men ages 28-30 make, on average $15,900 more than their single peers while married men ages 33-46 make $18, 800 more than unmarried men.
Of course the government is interested and concerned about these statistics for the reason that you might expect. Money.
You see, people who get married typically have children, buy a home, and then buy things to put in their home. Each newly created household adds approximately $145,000 to the U.S. economy, which suffers on several levels when marriage is in decline.
I come from a different generation so my comments on these statistics would sound hollow to many people. Instead I’ll let the numbers begin to tell the story, because there is a story being told here. If anyone would like to comment, please feel free. I would love to hear opinions from different ages and demographics. I’m also curious as to whether this is trending in other countries, and what your thoughts might be.
So…What’s It All About Alfie? (I just dated myself, didn’t I?)