Four Ways Marriage Has Transformed Dramatically


Gabrielle White

Marriage has undergone a pretty rapid transformation in the past few decades alone. It’s happening later for most people, and the importance placed on marriage has shifted in younger generations. Here’s what you might not know about marriage:

1. We’re marrying later

In the 1980s, 75% of women ages 25 to 29 were married. By 2009, only about half of women between those ages were married.

2. We’re a lot more likely to live together beforehand

According to the Census Bureau, unmarried couples now live together at double the rate of the 1990s. According to the Pew Research Center, that’s a total of about 64% of adults.

3. We’re not as interested in marriage as an institution

In 2010, 4 in 10 Pew Research survey respondents said they felt marriage was becoming obsolete, compared to 28% of respondents who agreed in 1978. The 64% of adults I mentioned earlier who were cohabiting outside of marriage were the group most likely to agree with this sentiment, naturally. About half of respondents said they didn’t believe staying single would preclude them from having a great sex life, getting ahead at work, or having a happy social life.

4. But we still believe strongly in the importance of family

If you’re panicking that society is deviating from long-standing traditions and norms, hold your worry. In 2010, 76% of people said their family was the most important part of their life, and nearly as many people (75%) said they were very satisfied with their family life. Family love isn’t going anywhere, even as parameters of what constitutes a family expand and become more inclusive.

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