Excerpt from article by Hope Yen, Associated Press reporter:
“The new figures show, among other things, that the number of people getting married fell to a record low level in 2009, with just 52 percent of adults 18 and over saying they were joined in wedlock, compared to 57 percent in 2000.”
(Click here for full article, with more census information)
I think young people don’t see the value in marriage (maybe it’s too traditional or old fashioned), and the divorce rate has steadily risen over the years (showing others that marriage doesn’t work for all, or is not financially necessary for women anymore). And lots of young people aren’t attending church (of any religion) so they don’t hear about the religious reasons from a Pastor/Rabbi/Priest/Oman/Sensei to enter wedlock. I broached this subject back on January 1st of this year (click here, blog entitled “Why marriage?)
The AP article states the reasons may be economic (too expensive to get married now, wait till later), or that cohabitation may be cheaper. And I think young people are increasingly commitment-shy and afraid of marriage, which ended in divorce for many of their parents. Half of my son’s friends now come from families of divorce.
But I also like to think it may be somewhat societal as well with gay marriage being denied couples in 45 states, that maybe it’s a civil rights issue for some younger folks (who tend to be more accepting of gays/lesbians). If gays can’t get married, why should straights?
Now I know why we haven’t been invited to too many weddings in recent years. One of my six nieces is living with her partner (and choosing not to marry), with their 3 year old son, & another baby on the way. And only one of the others is married.
Marriage isn’t for everyone, but it can work well, as I’ve stated in my previous blog.
What do you readers think are the reasons for the lowering of the marriage rate in America?
And speaking of the recent census, here’s a quote I just read which is inscribed on the walkway at Miramonte Neighborhood Park (NW corner of E. 3rd St. and N. Richey Blvd.):
“The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops, but the kind of man that the country turns out.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1870).
Let’s also reflect upon the kind of man (and woman) we are turning out today in 2010, 140 years hence.