Married Households No Longer the Majority

Married couples no longer make up the majority of
U.S. households for the first time in U.S. history, according to the latest
census data. Married couples represent 48 percent of all households, which is
down from 52 percent in the last census.

Portland State University demographer Charles Rynerson says that with
an aging population more people are living alone with more household members now
likely to be divorced or widowed later in life. Also part of the trend, Rynerson
says, is that twenty-somethings are delaying marriages. The median age for first
marriages has gradually climbed since the 1960s: Men are now 28 on average and
women 26 (in the 1960s, men were 23 and women were 20).

Also, more unmarried couples are making up households than
they have in the past. Last year, the Census Bureau reported that opposite-sex
unmarried couples living together increased 13 percent from 2009 to 7.5
million.

However, not all states were
seeing a decrease in the number of married households. Sixty-one percent of
households in Utah were led by married couples–the highest in the country.

Source: “Married Folks Now Outnumbered: Census
Data Shows Them Leading Less Than Half of U.S.
Households,”
Associated Press (May 28,
2011)

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