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Married couples at a record low in US

Carol Morello The Washington Post 12/15/2011 23:17
Married couples at a record low in US - marriage - lifestyle - USA


The proportion of adults who are married has plunged to record lows as more people decide to live together now and wed later, reflecting decades of evolving attitudes about the role of marriage in society.



Just 51 percent of all adults who are 18 and older are married, placing them on the brink of becoming a minority, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census statistics to be released Wednesday. That represents a steep drop from 57 percent who were married in 2000.

Maryland is a little below the national average, at 50 percent, while Virginia is a little higher, at 54 percent, and both are declining. But in the District, which experienced an influx of young adults over the past decade, only one in four adults is married while more than half have never wed.

The statistics offer a snapshot in time, and do not mean the unmarried will remain that way. They are a byproduct of a steady increase in the median age when people first marry, now at an all-time high of older than 26 for women and almost 29 for men.


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