Photo: satanoid via Flickr/Pew Research centre
People just aren’t getting married like they used to.Marriage has sharply declined over the past 50 years, from 68% of 20-somethings being wed in 1960 versus only 26% of the same age group in 2008, according to a 2010 study from the Pew Research centre.
The family is still staying strong though, it just looks a little different.
Income, education level and changing attitudes about the family and marriage as an institution have all contributed to the drop in marriage rates, the study found.
In 2008, just over half of people over the age of 18 were married, compared to nearly three-quarters of people in 1960.
39% per cent of Americans have noticed the downfall of marriage. That's up from the 28% who agreed with the same question in 1978.
With a change in views about marriage comes a change in views about sex. More Americans are OK with premarital sex than they were in 1969.
Wives have also entered the work force. Nearly twice as many wives worked in 2008 than they did in 1960.
Americans are increasingly accepting of non-traditional families, with 80% saying an unmarried couple with children is considered a family.
As views change, so does society. In 2008, 41% of births were to unmarried women, compared to 5% in 1960.
But opinions haven't changed entirely. Nearly 70% of respondents said it was bad for more single women to have kids.
But not everyone is a pessimist. 67% were optimistic about the institutions of marriage and family, while only half felt the same way about the U.S. education system.
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