One Is the Loneliest Number: Marriage Rates Hit All-Time Low
More and more Americans are staying single longer, or choosing not to wed at all, and American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) says the trend is alarming and harmful to the bedrock of the American institution of the family—the cornerstone of any society.
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that more young people are waiting to marry, and the percentage of adults who have never been married has hit an all-time high. For example, in 1960, about one in 10 adults over the age of 25 were single; in 2012, that same statistic jumped to one in five.
“This disturbing trend works against the family,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “It has negative implications for adults because God designed marriage for companionship and as a way to show His love to our spouses. And it’s detrimental for kids, as God created marriage and family so that we could raise children in godly, loving homes. On a cultural level, numerous studies have shown that those in traditional, healthy marriages and families fare far better that those who are not.”
Researchers and experts don’t know exactly what’s driving the declining marriage numbers, though many have theories, including economical reasons, financial security and the fact that out-of-wedlock cohabitation and childbearing are more accepted today. Some even point to government policies involving taxes and assistance that make staying single more attractive than getting married. A sociology professor recently wrote on CNN.com that women may be choosing to stay single longer for a variety a reasons, such as career success, an unwillingness to take on the traditional role of a wife, avoiding cheating men and waiting for “the one.”
The redefinition of marriage could also play a part.
“Same-sex marriage is a counterfeit version of marriage that diminishes the value of the ‘real thing,’” Wildmon added. “Living together before getting married or instead of getting married altogether is counterfeit as well, and cheats people out of the best that God has designed for them.”
Wildmon added that issues such as marriage will be important on Election Day on November 4. AFA is encouraging voters to take their values into account at the ballot box.