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For the 51% of US Adults Who Are Married

The news media love to declare the end of marriage. Yes, lots more of the over-18 crowd were married back in 1970. Now it is 51% (counting only opposite-sex marriages, per the federal definition of marriage).

Should you feel less in the mainstream if you are married? Hardly.

Thirty seven percent of Americans over the age of 18 have been married to the same person for at least the last 10 years. Another fourteen percent married within the past ten years and remain married.

Who is not married? The young.

Three times as many of the over-18 crowd are in college now as in 1970. The result? Now, instead of 42% of first-time brides marrying before their 20th birthday, only 7% do. This is good, because the under-20 marriages were less stable. Women marry about six years later now, and men have always married later than women, but we still use the 18-and-up or sometimes 15-and-up population to divide by.

Who else is not married? Those who outlive their spouses.

For every 10 marriages that end in divorce each year now, 12 end as promised, leaving behind a widow or widower.

Is marriage finished? Not yet.

Three out of every ten new marriages are second, third, or greater marriages, suggesting a lot of those who divorce or outlive their partners still have confidence in marriage.

I do, too.

Data Source:


Patty, I am so pleased you posted this, the media are so quick to grab each and any statistic to prove that marriage doesnt matter any more and everyone is getting divorced - they have a populist . Here in the UK marriage amongst the young is more popular than ever but cynics dismiss these as 'starter marriages' which I find very negative.

I wish more thinking people would take time to look behind the headline grabbing statistic and see what is really going on.

Patty, I got the link here from STUpendous Marriage and thanks for letting Stu Gray put a link to you on his blog.

Can I tell Judy that there is a 4-page leaflet from Civitas in the UK called "The Facts Behind Cohabitation" which tells of the dangers of cohabitation including the increased likelihood of domestic violence and child physical and sexual abuse. We need to get this information out into the community to refute those who are trying to undermine our society by saying that marriage does not matter.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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