The marriage rate is declining – why?
The marriage rate is declining and has hit the lowest numbers since marriages rates started being recorded. The number of people getting married has been steadily declining over the last few decades. There are a number of reasons why the marriage rate is declining, some you may not have thought of before.
Getting married later in life
Back in 1960, 65% of people aged between 18 and 32 years were married. In 2013, this plummeted to just 26%.
The first obvious reason is that Millennials wait until later in life to get married. In 1960 it was common to be married in your early twenties, it was almost expected.
Nowadays, it’s more common to get married in your late twenties or early thirties, as opposed to earlier in life, especially as there is no great social pressure to marry so young anymore.
There are more opportunities than ever before for Millennials to get an education, start a business or travel the world before they settle down and get married.
Some Millennials also tend to have a less traditional mindset and different goals in life than getting married and having children.
The unpredictable economy
Another reason why the marriage rate is declining is the economy. This generation has seen a lot of economic insecurity, and getting married is an expensive life event.
Many people have lost their jobs since the global financial crisis, and weddings are subsequently being seen as an unnecessary expense.
Especially after coming out of University with massive student debt. On average, Americans spend over $31,000 on tying the knot.
Some people cannot afford to get married until later in life, and others have chosen to prioritize saving for a house instead.
Changing attitudes towards marriage, sex, and children
Falling in love, getting married, then having children is seen as the expected and accepted way to live your life, especially if you’re a woman. But women’s attitudes towards marriage are changing.
Some no longer feel the need to wait for “the one” if they want to start a family. Advancements in technology and policies have given women more opportunities to have children through artificial insemination or adoption.
Being a single mom these days doesn’t quite have the stigma it used to, and it’s becoming more accepted and acknowledged than in previous years.
Another reason the marriage rate is declining is due to the decrease in people associating with religious beliefs and the increase in more casual attitudes to sex (as well as increasing access to contraception). People no longer feel obliged to marry the first person they sleep with, or feel any pressure to marry the person they fall pregnant to.
Increasing divorce rate
The marriage rate is declining is also due to the increase of the divorce rate. Divorce used to be frowned upon, but its more commonly accepted in today’s society.
However, people aren’t rushing into marriage as fast as their parents did for fear of ending up with a divorce. Especially for those who experienced a divorce as a child.
Many children from broken marriages are wary about getting married themselves, and often consider if marriage is right for them.
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