Wed Jan 17, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Married Couples are a Minority in U.S. Households, Census Report Says
By Gudrun Schultz
UNITED STATES, January 17, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Married couples are well on their way to becoming a rarity in the United States, a New York Times report on the Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey in 2005 found, married couples listed as a minority in U.S. households for the first time.
Fifty-one percent of women over the age of 15 said they were living without a spouse in 2005—having either never married, being divorced, separated or living apart from their husbands for some other reason.
That means 59.9 million women were single or had husbands who were not living at home when the survey was taken in 2005, out of the more than 117 women over the age of 15 in the U.S, compared to 57.5 million women who were living with a spouse.
In 2000, 49 percent of women over the age of 15 were living without a spouse—in 1950 the number was just 35 percent.
While 63 million women are married, of those, 3.1 million are legally separated and 2.4 million said their husbands were not living at home.
“This is yet another of the inexorable signs that there is no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution that organizes people’s lives,” said Prof. Stephanie Coontz, with the nonprofit research group Council on Contemporary Families. “Most of these women will marry, or have married. But on average, Americans now spend half their adult lives outside marriage.”
A higher percentage of men are married and living with their spouse , the survey showed— about 53 percent compared with 49 percent among women
Between 1950 and 2000, the share of women 15-to-24 who were married plummeted to 16 percent, from 42 percent. Among 25-to-34-year-olds, the proportion dropped to 58 percent, from 82 percent.
While the U.S. has the world’s third-largest population at 300 million people, following China (1.3 billion) and India (1.1 billion), social trends that weaken the foundation of family life threaten to destroy the country’s relatively healthy birthrate of 2.0 children per woman. (A replacement birth rate would be 2.1 children.)
The population crisis facing Western European nations, whose birthrates have plummeted to an average of 1.5 children per woman, may soon be a factor in the U.S. if the institution of marriage continues to deteriorate in the country.
See related Census Bureau statistics:
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