Marriage on the decline in U.S.

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, June 29, 2011

They say that numbers don’t lie. If that’s so, then the truth is that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, marriage is on the decline in this country.

The Census Bureau says fewer than half of all American households consist of a married couple. What’s more, households headed by a single mom increased by 18 percent between 2000 and last year.

Back in 1950, just over three-quarters of American households contained a married couple. That figure has dropped to 48 percent today.

A recent article in the Sun Journal newspaper says there are many reasons for the decline in the percentage of households headed by married couples. For instance, the numbers are skewed by increasing numbers of widowed older adults living on their own rather than with their families.

Also, it’s now culturally acceptable for unmarried couples to live together rather than tie themselves together in marriage.

But a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City argues that there’s a more powerful reason for the decline in married households: working class families are disintegrating.

In her book, “Red Families v. Blue Families,” June Carbone shows that statistics indicate in largely rural “red states,” people get married earlier, divorce at a higher rate, and have lower levels of education than people in the more urban “blue states.” In those places, education levels are higher, and people get married later and tend to stay married.

Her book argues that the numbers show that traditional wisdom about the Midwest and South have been turned upside down.

Of course, while the numbers might not lie, they also don’t tell the unique stories of individuals. In St. Louis, we have people from all walks of life going through the challenges of divorce and single parenthood and many other forms of family life.

Source: Sun Journal: “Census shows married couples declining in U.S.”: June 26, 2011

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