U.S. marriage rate hits new low and may continue to decline

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  • ishimura Norfolk, VA
    July 28, 2017 8:09 a.m.

    There are many reasons behind this decline
    1- Free Milk
    2-a legal system stacked against men
    3-feminism is rendering women less and less attractive
    4-many people are choosing not to have children thus making the idea of marriage meaningless
    5- the institution of marriage has lost all meaning
    6-many men have friends who went through divorces and many men just don't want to go through that.
    Throw a dart and any of choices I have given and you will hit a correct answer.

  • True Believer Utah, UT
    June 8, 2015 8:45 a.m.

    Marriage is ordained of God; He instituted it for the benefit of Man and Woman to become one in his eyes. Children are the fruit of this great institution and the backbone of all great nations and societies. Man's feeble attempts to redefine God's work has led to chaos and disorder. It began in the sexual revolution of the 60's and the children are the ones that have suffered greatly as a result. The prisons are full and many can trace the origins back to the absence of a Father in the home. Selfishness and Hedonism have taken their toll. We will will all account for how we handled this defining moment of our mortality on the day of reckoning.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    June 8, 2015 8:20 a.m.

    Seldom Seen Smith says: "What's the definition of marriage, whatever you want it to be. Thus rendering the term meaningless."

    I'm sorry you feel your own marriage, or that of your parents, friends, or siblings is meaningless. Does your wife/husband know you feel this way?

    The idea that once we allow gay marriage, the word "marriage" is rendered meaningless and the institution devalued, is self-evidently nonsense. This slippery-slope alarmist fantasy that has fathers marrying sons and tables marrying chairs is comical in its illogic.

    When I say "Yes, I'm married," nobody looks confused as to what I mean. I've never heard the following: "What is this word 'married' and what do you mean by it? Are you saying you have formed a union with a man, a women, multiple of either, an animal, a plant, or an inanimate object? I'm confused."

    People, just let it go. The irrational fear that SSM is going to affect straight folk is embarrassing.

  • Eddie Would Go FPO, AE
    June 7, 2015 6:32 a.m.

    Mom of Six,

    How do you balance the responsibilities of parenting with those of teaching?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 5, 2015 1:35 p.m.

    Rocket Science:

    It isn't rocket science and it has little to do with all that stuff that conservatives get worked up about. The decisions to marry or not to marry are based on the economy. The economy not just now but what has happened for a generation or longer of decaying wages. Most people are going to rush to marry when your first job is likely to be Wal-Mart and your new residence is your parents basement.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    June 4, 2015 7:58 p.m.

    Obvious the married people who raised the current generation didn't make marriage look attractive.

    You go to a poor city and do a study and find kids from single parents are worse off than those of married couples. If marriage were the golden ticket to happiness everyone would do it. Doesn't cost that much to marry. Weathy families with single parent headed homes would be doing fine in the study were done there. There is a comfort in things not changing but what people don't understand is there was no comfort from them in doing the same thing as mom and dad. The kid from single parent headed households of any income might do just fine if it were not for the elitism from those who want things back to the way they were. It's never utopia for everyone. This isn't the world of The Giver by Lowry where all children are carefully raised in two parent family groups of a boy and a girl.

  • Bobster Boise, ID
    June 4, 2015 1:41 p.m.

    Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    This is a quote from the LDS Church's Family, A Proclamation to the World. It seems to back up what the studies have shown. I included the happiness in family part because it explains why children are so entitled, so they can be happy.

  • bc1050 Sandy, UT
    June 4, 2015 8:37 a.m.

    Marriage has become a bad deal for men... Men are at jeopardy of losing half of everything they have worked for if they marry the wrong women.

  • Marsha N. SANDY, UT
    June 4, 2015 8:36 a.m.

    Anybody consider the propaganda campaign against marriage that has been on-going for the last 30 years? Take a look at the movies and TV programs that belittle and ridicule marriage and commitment (unless, of course it is gay marriage). Sex is no longer thought of as a sacred experience in a loving and enduring relationship; it is viewed as a competitive past-time sport. And most young people don't realize that is a damaging lie which objective is to harden feelings and destroy the family culture that has been the foundation of America for hundreds of years.

  • Wacoan Waco, TX
    June 3, 2015 9:09 a.m.

    I find the article and the comments interesting. I have researched the topic and haven't made much progress. All commenters seem to think marriage is important but how each would support it seems different.

    @Cougar in Texas,
    You list several reasons for declining marriage rates. I wonder if they are the symptoms or the cause.

    @Mom of Six,
    A professional and a mother. It can be done!

    @Illuminated, LDS Liberal and kolob 1,
    Women take risks that men don't when they have children. These risks concern health, career and marital. Shouldn't men share this risk?

    The decline in marriage indeed precedes same sex marriage but it also precedes the advent of "Family Value" policies. Just because the decline in the marriage preceded the same sex marriage laws does not imply that these laws did not adversely impact heterosexual marriage rates.

    I see nothing wrong with the study that Poqui references. The numbers are large and the statistical methods are appropriate. What is the difference between civil unions and marriage that you believe disqualifies comparisons in rates of divorce?

  • Bobster Boise, ID
    June 2, 2015 9:41 p.m.

    The research referred to by Sturgeon and the statement by Wilcox are no surprise.

  • dustman Gallup, NM
    June 2, 2015 8:15 a.m.

    I'm LDS. I've had people say I'm not christian. That's easy to do when they've designated themselves as the ones to define what Christianity is. They purposely make that definition to exclude the LDS church.

    I feel like the same is done with the definition of marriage. We say it's only between a man and a woman because our scriptures say so. We at least infer that our scriptures say so. But we disregard any culture or religion that may hold same-sex living in high regard.

    I was born to biracial parents. There were laws and religious beliefs that said people marrying from different races was wrong. I'm glad my parents disobeyed those laws and religious beliefs. I'm willing to wait to see what God says to me and my parents when I die.

  • danr San Bernardino, CA
    June 1, 2015 3:29 p.m.

    Gay marriage has nothing to do with the decline of marriage. Marriage was in decline for decades prior to gay marriage. The decline of society has more to do with conservatives' pro-business policies. The US has the worst family leave policy in the developed world, less accessible healthcare, poorest child care services, no daycare for employees' children, less free time for families. The vast majority of families have to have both parents wok full time just to get by. How are conservatives promoting family values by forcing americans to live with worse-than-third-world policies.

    And 40% of children born in the US are born to single mothers. Conservatives and churches should be frantically trying to cure this social ill, instead of demonizing gay folks who want to commit to marriage.

    What about dwindling funds for education??? How does cutting funding for public schools and colleges help families and the USA? It doesn't!

    Declining marriages aren't the biggest problem for society. Conservative so-called "Family Value" policies are.

  • danr San Bernardino, CA
    June 1, 2015 2:44 p.m.

    @Poqui: Your example is cherry picked. You're comparing civil unions to marriages, apples to oranges. Straight couples are much less likely to be in civil unions because they had the option of marriage. That makes the 35% and 200% numbers you cite irrelevant and intentionally misleading. One or two Scandinavian countries are the only countries where same sex couples' divorce rates are slightly higher than heterosexual divorce rates. In all other countries, the divorce rates are the same or lower than straight marriages. A simple google search shows this.

    The decline of society has much more to do with economics. A few decades ago, one parent could support a family on a single income, while the other (usually the mother) could stay home and raise the children. Today, both parents have to work at least one job, sometimes more, just to make ends meet. Children are left to be raised in day care facilities and overburdened schools.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    June 1, 2015 1:41 p.m.

    As a teacher, I see the decline of marriage being the root of a lot of the problems of society. I find it interesting that people use the argument that marriage is all about adults and their wants and needs. The decline of marriage and the fall out from broken ones is the root of many problems in education as well.

  • Idahotransplant West Jordan, UT
    June 1, 2015 8:36 a.m.

    Too many marriages are on the decline because of selfishness and lack of commitment and investment in each other. Yes men get a raw deal, but divorce laws very state by state and Utah is one of the worst for the hard working, dependable, loyal and loving father.

    if there is not type of abusive involved then it is selfishness that occurs. In this state especially, more and more women have or are filing because their husbands are not meeting their expectations.

  • kolob1 sandy, UT
    May 29, 2015 7:11 a.m.

    I agree with illuminated St George, UT I believe the main reason is the widening of the gap between rich and poor. Couples today are realizing that to get ahead you either join the Army or wait util your job stabilizes. New laws regarding overtime pay, length of work week and pensions makes it hard for working couples to attain stability in the workplace. The decline of the Unions is an example of the changing laws in the workplace. Management will do everything possible to destroy the Unions and their legal base. When Unions lose so to does the workplace.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    May 27, 2015 9:41 a.m.


    You will find it is root of all the problems.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    May 27, 2015 4:28 a.m.

    "Hanging out" is the culprit. LOL!

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 26, 2015 9:23 p.m.


    Morals according to who? I am sure same homosexuals think it is moral for them to get married. Your morals aren't "THE MORALS" of the world.

  • Poqui Murray, UT
    May 26, 2015 3:25 p.m.

    @Lilly Munster - "The best study I’ve seen focused on Scandinavia, where same-sex civil unions — essentially marriages in everything but name — have been legal for about two decades. The authors had access to population-level administrative data that generated a sample size of over 1,500 same-sex unions. After controlling for age, region, country of birth, education, and duration of the partnership, male couples in Sweden were 35 percent more likely to divorce than heterosexual couples, and lesbian partners were over 200 percent more likely to divorce. Whether the couples had children made little difference in the relative rates."
    You can search this quote to get the reference since I can't post links here.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 26, 2015 8:04 a.m.


    You're comparing two very different sets of data here. Most studies that compare ANNUAL homosexual and heterosexual divorce rates show around a 1.6% rate for the former and 2% for the latter (I'm reading off LGBT articles here...). You've taken the overall divorce rate of 54% of all marriages ending in divorce and pitted it against the annual rate of same sex couples.

    There is really very little daylight between the two populations. Given that most same sex couples could legally marry only in the last couple of years, it will be interesting to see how the rates go after several decades and the two populations can be compared on a more normative basis.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 24, 2015 11:54 p.m.

    Let's see...

    Married Men work, and if the woman decides to split, they loose their house, the kids and 50% of their pay.

    Meanwhile -- Women who work, keep their house, their kids and 100% of their pay, + their child support and alimony.

    So now,
    Tell me -- other than "sin", why should a man get married?
    He stands little to gain, and virtually everything to lose.

    The cards are sacked against them.
    Make the laws more fair,
    50/50 = equally yoked,
    and I'll bet you'll see marriages would go up.

    Meanwhile --
    This is obvious that Same Sex Marriage has NOTHING to do with it.

  • Seldom Seen Smith Orcutt, CA
    May 24, 2015 10:20 p.m.

    What's the definition of marriage, whatever you want it to be. Thus rendering the term meaningless.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    May 24, 2015 4:15 p.m.

    It will be ok. Relax. We live in a time of great freedom, you might not agree with what people do with it but free agency was God given.

    We can complain or we could do things that encourage marriage. We could be encouraging our churches to have more marriage seminars for all phases of dating and marriage. We could be supporting women who want a career and a family by passing laws or encouraging policies that give both parents flexible time for child rearing.

    We've been told over and over that marriage is about kids so make it more feasible for people to have kids and we'll probably see more marriage. When college costs are easily $100,000 for just a bachelors degree, how many people are thinking of having a family? Or how many are giving up the idea entirely because society is cutting funding for education?

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    May 23, 2015 7:24 p.m.

    @Lilly Munster: The stats don't make gay marriage morally right.

  • Cougar in Texas Houston, TX
    May 23, 2015 11:57 a.m.


    The 50% divorce statistic has been shown to be a myth for some time now. Divorce rates are on a 3 decade decline, and the stronger decline in the marriage rate is a partial contributor. The statistics do not include long-term cohabitating couples who break up, a scenario that several decades ago would have started with marriage and ended in divorce.

    As for the current same-sex divorce rate, you can refer to an article in the Washington Post from December 2014 that goes through the math and concludes that "Given the evidence available, the dissolution rate of same-sex marriages seems comparable to, not lower than, the divorce rate of traditional marriages", so your numbers are way, way off.

    And yes, same-sex marriage does constitute a NEW definition of marriage. How many even considered the idea just a few decades ago?

    Significant reasons why the marriage rate is declining include the increasing cohabitation rate, waiting longer to marry, the decreased desire to have children, and the overall elevating rate of narcissism that seems to infect each succeeding generation more than the previous one.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    May 23, 2015 8:05 a.m.

    Marriage is tough. It is hard work. Wives who stay home work long hours and are demeaned for not being in the work force. I can see what it would be easy to skip marriage. However, it is the best arrangement for children, and the hard work pays off when children become productive responsible citizens (which most of them will do if they have had a committed father and dedicated mother). Our children provided us with huge challenges (some of which could have been avoided if we had been doing a better job), but eventually all went to universities, married good spouses, and are raising wonderful grandchildren. There are still big challenges, but I'd not trade my descendants for all the cruises in the travel brochures, or a mansion next to a ski resort, etc. The more we devalue traditional marriage, the more we lose grip on a civilized nation.

  • illuminated St George, UT
    May 22, 2015 1:52 p.m.

    Men are Going Their Own Way because marriage is a raw deal for them. The woman can walk out at any time, take half his possessions, custody of his kids, then get a nice payoff through alimony. On top of it, women get half a million programs and support groups for them after a divorce while men get shamed.

    The depression and suicide rate among divorced men is much, much higher than women because of all these factors. Why would a man risk tying the knot when they may be marrying someone who later turns out to be a government sanctioned thief?

    If we want marriages to increase, we need new laws that level the playing field and make the marriage contract 100% equal. Nobody should get special privilege just because of their gender.

  • Lilly Munster netherlands, 00
    May 22, 2015 1:37 p.m.

    Meanwhile, gay men and women, many who are parents already, as well as many who are raising the abandoned, abused children of others, or plan to do so, are doing very well. Same Sex Marriage divorce rates are reported to be about 1.6%, while Traditional Divorce rates seem to now be at least 52%. Same Sex Marriage is not a NEW definition of marriage; it is marriage with integrity and commitment, hard earned.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    May 20, 2015 6:32 p.m.

    With the sexual revolution of the 60's, declining birth rates since the baby boom, marginalization of fathers in the media, the welfare state, no need for a husband a la Murphy Brown, desire to get all the financial rewards before family, and the distortion of what Marriage has and is causing less interest in traditional couples being married.