|My age:||I'm 49 years old|
In Western culture in the late 18th century, marriage transformed from an economic arrangement into a union based on love.
Now it may again be heading toward radical change. The median age at first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men — up from 20 for women and 23 for men in Today an unprecedented portion of millennials will remain unmarried through age 40, a recent Urban Institute report predicted.
The marriage rate might drop to 70 percent -- a figure well below rates for boomers 91 percentlate boomers 87 percent and Gen Xers 82 percent. And declines might be even sharper if marriage rates recover slowly, or not at all, from pre-recession levels, according to the report.
Traditional marriage has been on a downward trajectory for generations, but with this group it appears to be in free fall. According to a report released last month by the Pew Research Center, 25 percent of millennials are likely to never be married. That would be the highest share in modern history.
Boston Globe columnist Tom Keane says this trend could be cause for alarm. Tax rates, eligibility for entitlement programs, and the availability of social safety nets are all altered by marital status, it said. Current marriage trends will make it challenging to develop policies that efficiently target the needs of the growing of unmarried poor, it said.
2. they just hated being apart.
From Social Security to income taxes, married couples benefit economically. Research about this trend draws panic on the Internet and tense media coverage. About a quarter of unmarried young adults ages 25 to 34 are living with a partner, according to Pew Research analysis of Current Population Survey data.
Marriage has lost much of its social allure, but remains a desired milestone for about 70 percent of millennials. They say they would like to marry, but many — especially those with lower levels of income and education — lack what they deem to be a necessary prerequisite: a solid economic foundation.
Seeing a narrow window for having kids
In contrast to the patterns of the past, when adults in all socio-economic groups married at roughly the same rate, marriage today is more prevalent among those with higher incomes and more education, according to the Pew research. In a recent Washington Post opinion pieceCatherine Rampell, a young columnist, argued marriage is desired but simply out of reach for many millennials.
Most Americans are married or would like to marry.
That fewer millennials are choosing to marry is also a reflection of modern social attitudes that reject the institution as outdated. It's time to embrace new ideas about romance and family — and acknowledge the end of traditional marriage as society's highest ideal, according to Kate Bolick, author of the Atlantic cover story, "All the Single Ladies," which sparked a national conversation.
It's barbaric. Half of American adults believe society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children, according to the recent Pew report.
And opinions on this issue differ sharply by age — with young adults much more likely than older adults to say society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children. Fully two-thirds of those ages 18 to 29 67 percent express this viewpoint, as do 53 percent of those ages 30 to Among those ages 50 and older, most 55 percent say society is better off if people make marriage and children a priority, Pew found.
But what if marriage stopped forcing young people to conform to an outdated tradition? Margaret Mead, a woman well ahead of her time, threw this notion out in the s; injournalist and author, Pamela Paul, wrote a book on starter marriages, and; inMexico City proposed laws supporting two-year renewable marriage contracts. Forces of biology, social needs and economics will never let long-term partnership fade, says dean.
1. they "just knew."
The definition of marriage has been fluid over time and between cultures, he said. And the American rural model is economy first, relationship second, with clear division of labor, and the added sanction of religion. Radical as it may seem, they just might. Meg Murphy is a freelance writer.
Marriage Rates Are Plummeting The median age at first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men — up from 20 for women and 23 for men in