I’d normally rather toss you some good news to take your minds off the pandemic this evening, but this is at least mostly separate from that story. Recent compilations of available data have revealed a disturbing trend when it comes to marriage in the United States. Specifically, we’ve hit a new low in marriage rates… one not seen in well over a century. As the Washington Times reports, the American marriage rate has been slowly dropping for quite a while, but the numbers from 2018 (the last year where full data is available) have tipped the scales down to a new nadir.
The U.S. marriage rate has fallen to its lowest level in 120 years after having declined steadily since the 1980s and plateauing over the past decade, a study says.
The declining marriage rate holds social and economic implications, from household formation to the U.S. birthrate, researchers and observers said.
Only 6.5 wedding licenses for every 1,000 U.S. adults were issued in 2018, the most recent year with complete data, according to a study published Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It’s a 6% decline from 2017 and comes after a relatively stable rate between 2009 and 2017, when about seven couples married per every 1,000 Americans.
On the surface, these numbers may not seem all that bad. After all, going from seven couples out of 1,000 adults for the previous eight years to 6.5 sounds like a fairly insignificant drop. But when you consider the raw population of adults in the United States (approximately 209 million), that means there were more than one thousand fewer marriages.