Marriage Decline

But Babies Still Being Born

Young couple watching television and eating popcorn

“The U.S. has been experiencing a cultural retreat from marriage.  The economy has provided less-than-stellar job prospects for those who are not well-educated.  That’s hit unskilled men particularly hard, as they have not been seen as good marriage material.”                                                                                                                                           –Sam Sturgeon, president, Demographic Intelligence

The marriage rate in America has hit a record low, according to a company which specializes in wedding and fertility trend forecasts, Demographic Intelligence (DI).  Even though millennials in the next five years will have more of its members at a typical marrying age (18-32) than any previous generation, DI says they are less likely to marry than their predecessors.

DI reports a marriage rate of 6.74 per 1,000 people this year, with the number expected to fall slightly lower over each of the next two years.  In 2008, the marriage rate in America was 7.09 per 1,000.  DI is not alone in their findings.  The Pew Research Center estimates that one-fourth of millennials are likely to forego marriage completely.

A growing number of men and women are living together instead of marrying, many having children outside of marriage, DI highlights.  The decline in marriage is particularly steep for young women and for those with lower educational attainment.  From 2008 to 2015, DI reports, the marriage rate dropped more than 13 percent for young women with high school diplomas or less.  At the same time, women who are college-educated have have the reverse trend.  The number of women with college degrees who wed grew from 30 to 36 percent.

DI hints that marriage may recover somewhat since the rate of decline is now less steep suggesting we are nearing the bottom of the decrease.  DI also notes a leveling of births to unmarried mothers, following decades-long growth in the trend.  DI represents its reporting and projections have been 99 percent accurate.

Horizonte, Salt Lake City School District’s alternative high school and adult education center, believes helping its minority and low income students advance educationally will help reverse this marriage and child birth challenge.  Horizonte private post high school training and college scholarships are extending student horizons.



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