Marriage rates hit new, all-time low


New data shows more young people are waiting to marry - and there’s no shortage of opinions on why that’s happening.

According to the latest available census data, the percentage of U.S. adults who have never been married has hit a new, all-time high.

In 1960, about one in ten adults over the age of 25 fell into that category.

By 2012, the number had jumped to one in five.


Well, as someone who married at 32 the reasons are pretty clear. Obviously I speak for me, but it may apply to others.

  1. it takes longer (than our parents generation) to get into a suitable career and to generally get our lives ordered enough to seriously consider marriage.

  2. Marriage is an incredibly risky high stakes undertaking. Generally speaking it works out great or it implodes. In high school I heard enough about the daily issues from peers in broken homes.

  3. Something is truly broken when it comes to dating.

  4. The advantages of marriage vs single life or long term bf/gf are unclear at best. There needs to be a better explanation about why one should seriously consider it. For instance, the US income tax rates means that if 2 high income people marry they could face a higher tax rate compared to not getting married.

  5. Quite simply, the desire to marry just isn’t wasn’t there in the 20s.


But divorce rates are dropping.

This is ok. It’s better to be never married than previously married. But are people not getting married, or are they just getting married later? I’d like to see the numbers for over 30 and over 35 compared to 1960. I’m not arguing with the article, just curious.


True, but one of the biological cruelties is that fertility is best when we are less able to handle child rearing.

This is ok. It’s better to be never married than previously married. But are people not getting married, or are they just getting married later? I’d like to see the numbers for over 30 and over 35 compared to 1960. I’m not arguing with the article, just curious.

I think it’s too early to tell, butPew Research projects that fewer will get married. (The section titled “Will Today’s Never-Married Adults Eventually Marry?”)


Girls today are very free with their bodies. If a guy is getting all the benefits …why should he marry? It wasn’t as prevalent in the 50’s & 60’s.


A guy with that mentality shouldn’t be getting married anyway.


I was 29 when I got married. I have a hard time imagining getting married much earlier. It took that long for me to finish school, start my career as a music teacher (The first few years of teaching, you basically have no social life whatsoever), meet the guy, and make the nesessary plans and arrangements. I also know that many young people start off with opressive student loan payments, that make starting a family a far-off dream.


For Roman Catholics there could be another reason for the drop in official “marriages” and that is the high rate of marriage annulments in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1929, there were about 10 marriage annulments in the USA, and these were granted because of fairly serious reasons such as undisclosed previous marriage, or impotence. However, in recent years, in the USA, there have been more than 50,000 marriage annulments per year in some years. So could it be that some couples are asking why they should get married, when 15 years down the line the Catholic Church tribunal declares that they have never been sacramentally married in the first place? You go through all that trouble and expense of getting married and then after 15 yearts of marriage, the Church tribunal says you were never married at least sacramentally. I know of a case where this occurred after 15 years of married life, the wife was unfaithful to the marriage. There never was any question of the validity of the marriage until she started lining up different boyfriends and inviting them over when her husband was at work. He had to work overtime in order to support her expensive tastes and pay for the mortgage on the expensive house she demanded. After finding herself a well to do partner, she then applied for and received a statement from the Catholic marriage tribunal saying that the marriage was annulled. According to an article that I read, upwards of 95% of all applications for the annulment are granted in the end. That seems like there are a lot of people in the Catholic Church who were not really married.


Since my ex committed adultery, took the children, and took me to the cleaners financially with the law letting her do it, I feel like yelling “sucker!” every time I hear a man is getting married. Women are being taught absurd notions about men and marriage such as he has to be handsome, rich, sensitive, always home, and do all the house work. If it isn’t that or she has to lift a finger it is time for a divorce! With the vast majority of divorces filed by women with everything to gain and nothing to lose, 40% of marriages ending in divorce I think a man today would be out of their minds to get married.


And unless you can point out advantages that out weigh what he said you have your answer


It seems to be both. According to the US Census Report, people are getting married later or not at all. Over 55 & never married is probably a bit higher by now, but in 2009 it was at 5.8% over all (an increase of 1% since 1986). Blacks went up 9.5% in the same time period.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit