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Catholic World News

Study documents decline of marriage in US

November 19, 2010

A new study by the Pew Research Center documents the decline of marriage and the increasing acceptance of cohabitation in the United States.

The study finds that 39% of Americans believe marriage is becoming obsolete. Among the other key findings:

  • in 2008, 52% of adults were married (vs. 72% in 1960)
  • in 2008, 26% of adults in their 20s were married (vs. 68% in 1960)
  • only 32% of Americans believe that premarital sex is wrong (vs. 68% in 1969)
  • 63% of Americans believe that a same-sex couple with children is a family
  • 60% of mothers with children under three are in the labor force (vs. 34% in 1975)
  • 41% of babies born in 2008 were born to unmarried mothers (vs. 5% in 1960)
  • 29% of children under 18 live with parents who are not married (vs. 6% in 1960).


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