Half of Americans ages 18 & older are married. 

People are staying single longer.  The median age for marriage is now 29.5 years for men and 27.4 years for women. 

Education makes a difference.  Only 50% of adults with a high school diploma or less are married.  65% of adults with at least a four-year college degree are married.

Divorce rates are increasing among older Americans.  For every 1,000 married adults ages 50 & older, 10 have divorced.  This is up from 5 in 1990.  Among those ages 65 and older, the divorce rate has roughly tripled since 1990.

Cohabitation - the number of adults cohabiting is 7%.  There are 18 million adults living with an unmarried partner.  This is up 29% since 2007.  About half of cohabiting adults are younger than 35.  But cohabitation
is rising most quickly among Americans ages 50 and older.

Blended families - 40% of new marriages involve a remarriage.  Of this, 20% is a remarriage for one spouse and 20% is a remarriage for both spouses.  23% of currently married people have been married before.

Diverse families - 17% of newlyweds in the last 2 years married someone of a different race or ethnicity.

Same-sex marriages - public support for same-sex marriage has grown in the past 10 years.  62% of Americans now support same-sex marriage.  About 10% of LGBTQ Americans are married to a same-sex spouse.  61% of same-sex couples who live together are married.

Different religion marriages - 39% of people who have married since 2010 have married someone from a different religious group.  Many of these have been between Christians and those who have no religious affiliation.

Online dating and marriage - 15% of adults have used online dating sites.  This is up from 11% in 2013.  41% of people know someone who uses online dating.  29% know someone who has entered a long-term relationship through online dating.

27% of young adults (ages 18 to 24) use online dating.

59% of people say it's a good way to meet people.

These stats are important to consider because they give us a snapshot of the families in our communities.
Think about these questions and talk through them with your team.  As you seek to reach the families in your community, the answers you discover through your discussions will give you some great strategies to reach parents.

1. Since adults are staying single longer, what can we do to connect with single adults?  How can we focus on ministering to single adults?

2. Normally we would offer marriage help for young adults and we should.  But stats show that divorce rates among adults 50 & older is spiking as well.  How can we offer marriage support that targets middle age and older adults? 

3. Many of the young parents in our community are living together unmarried.  How can we create a welcoming environment where they can belong before they believe?

4. How can we come alongside couples in our church who are cohabiting and help them move toward God's plan of marriage?

5. How can we offer support to the many blended families in our church and community?

6.  Does our church reflect the diversity of today's families?  How can we be a place that welcomes diversity?

7. How can we encourage and equip people who have unbelieving spouses to bring them to church and reach them for Christ?