It’s no secret that the United States has been experiencing a decades-long marriage recession. In fact, the rate at which adults marry today has never been lower in recorded American history.

This decline in marriage has had – and is having – far-reaching societal implications, negative effects on our nation’s fertility rate, and contributed to a declining culture that neglects family formation in favor of career and financial advancement.

Today, a majority of American adults are not married – a historical anomaly that has never before been seen, a recent comprehensive study by KGN Law Firm found.

While 48% of the U.S. population is married, 10.6% is divorced. Another 1.7% is separated, while a staggering 34.2% of adults have never married. Another 5.5% of marriages have ended with death, leaving a widow or widower behind.

Photo Credit: KGN Law Firm

The study found “marriage rates have fallen in the U.S. over time, starting at 8.2 marriages per 1,000 in 2000 and falling to only 5.1 marriages per 1,000 by 2020.”

Photo Credit: KGN Law Firm

No matter what way you look at it – marriage in the United States – and in nearly all of the West – is in sharp decline.

As of 2018, the marriage rate in the United States has plunged to the lowest level in over 150 years – the lowest level on record.

“The U.S. marriage rate fell 6% in 2018, with 6.5 new unions formed for every 1,000 people, according to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics. That was the lowest rate since the federal government began keeping data in 1867, said Sally Curtin, a statistician at the center and lead author of the report,” the WSJ reports.

“Millennials are in peak marriage years, their 20s and 30s, and it’s still dropping,” Ms. Curtin said. “This is historic.”

The KGN Law Firm study found that marriage has continued waning in popularity among young adults in the last decade. “In 2011, the ‘Never Married’ [population] among men 20 to 34 was 67%, but by 2021, that increased to 72% of men. Among women in this age group and period, the ‘Never Married’ population increased from 57% to 63%.”

The study also found that men are more likely to be married after age 45 – right when women start to lose interest in marriage. “While more than 68.7% of men who are 65 and older are married, less than 50% of women in this age group are married,” the Christian Post reports.

As the Daily Citizen has previously written, even though the United States and the developed world have faced an increasingly precipitous decline in marriage, it’s also true that religiously-committed men and women are far more likely to marry than their non-religious peers.

“Nearly 100 percent of highly religious men (97%) were likely to be married by their mid-40’s, while only 65% of non-religious men were likely to be hitched,” we reported.

So, while marriage may be in severe decline across our culture, committed Christians who desire to be married should still have great hope: their chances of finding a life partner remain very good.

Focus on the Family is presenting upcoming two-day Resist the Drift Marriage ConferencesAttending couples will receive Bible-based concepts and tools from our trained marriage professionals on how to reconnect and strengthen their marriages. You can learn more about the upcoming conferences here.

Focus on the Family offers Hope Restored Marriage IntensivesHope Restored is a biblically based, Christian counseling experience for couples facing a crisis moment in their marriage or suffering from years of disconnection and relationship decayYou can find out more about Hope Restored here.

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