Marriage & Family in America...11 Things You Need to Know

Recent reports give us an inside look at the latest trends in marriage and family in America.
Americans Still Like Marriage
  • 67 percent of Americans disagree with the idea that marriage is outdated.
  • 75 percent of Americans are either married or would like to get married.
Marriage Boosts Social Mobility  
  • Marriage culture around a child is the greatest factor for his or her social mobility. 
  • The strongest predictor is the percentage of children with single parents in a community.
Unwed Childbearing Remains High
  • The unwed birth rate remains high at over 40 percent of all births.
Marriage Continues to Protect Against Child Poverty
  • Children in single-parent homes are five times as likely to be poor compared to children in married-parent homes.
Married Households Make More Money
  • Married men earn significantly more than single men.
  • 32% of the growth in family income inequality since 1979 can be linked to the decline in the marriage rate.
Fertility Rate is at an All-Time Low
  • For the past 10 years, America’s fertility rate has been trending downward.
Proportion of Single Americans is at an All-Time High
  • In 2014, the number of single Americans hit an all-time high, now at 50.2%.  In the mid-1970s, the percentage was 37.4%.
Cohabitation is Common But Not Beneficial
  • Most couples live together before they wed.
  • 44% of Americans think that cohabitation before marriage is a good idea.  However, research suggests the opposite: cohabitation is linked to poorer marital quality.
Most Americans Report Multiple Sexual Partners
  • Americans report having between 4 and 6 sexual partners over their lifetime. 
  • Research indicates that those who only have sex with the person they marry report higher marital quality.
The Marriage Divide Continues
  • 63% of births are outside of marriage.
  • Among college-educated young women, 71 percent of births occur within marriage.  This leaves children in lower-income, and increasingly more so in working-class communities, without the multiple benefits of marriage.
Fathers Are Spending More Time with Their Children
  • Fathers today spend significantly more time with their children than they did just two decades ago.
  • Children with involved fathers on average have better outcomes, including an increased likelihood of graduating from college.
  • However, fewer youth live with their fathers today than in past decades.
Though many of these trends are going in the wrong direction, it can be changed.  As we minister in a post-modern culture, we are seeing more and more families who simply don't know about God's plan for the home.  As we reach out to hurting, broken people and share the hope and forgiveness that is found in Christ, we can help them discover all that God wants for them.