State of U.S. Marriage

Although several measures of the health of marriage in the United States have declined sharply since 1970, there are some signs of improvement this decade, according to a new “marriage index.” The index, released on Oct. 2 and produced by the New York-based Institute for American Values and the National Center on African-American Marriages and Parenting at Hampton University in Virginia, assesses the strength of marriage by using five indicators: the percentage of people ages 20 to 54 who are married; the percentage of married adults who describe themselves as “very happy” in their marriages; the percentage of intact first marriages among married people ages 20 to 59; the percentage of births to married parents; and the percentage of children living with their own married parents. The combined score for the five “leading marriage indicators” dropped from 76.2 percent in 1970 to 60.3 percent in 2008, according to the index. But since 2000 there have been small gains in the percentage of intact first marriages (from 59.9 percent to 61.2 percent) and the percentage of children living with married parents (60.5 percent to 61 percent).

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Gwendolyn Brooks' poetry presented readers with a look into the life of African-Americans.
Judith ValenteJune 26, 2017
A man sits on a snowy street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In January, the city of Toronto began collecting data for the first time on deaths among its homeless population. (Photo via iStock)
Every month a group gathers at Holy Trinity Church to hold a vigil for those who have died homeless in Toronto.
Dean DettloffJune 26, 2017
'I saw the Catholic Church from the inside, like a tauntaun.'
Nick Ripatrazone June 24, 2017
Beatriz Mejia of El Salvador speaks at a rally in front of the White House in Washington in March 2016 in support of immigrant families who are seeking asylum. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Can a Catholic carry out his or her job duties in good conscience if they include the deportation of people facing imminent death in their home countries?