Do you think marriage is becoming obsolete?
December 15th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

Do you think marriage is becoming obsolete?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Fewer Americans are getting married than ever before.

A new pew survey shows barely half of adults in this country - 51% - are married.

That's a 5% drop from just a year before and down from a whopping 72% in 1960.

The marriage rate has gone down among all age groups in the U.S. - but most dramatically among young adults:

Only 20% of those younger than 30 are now married, compared with nearly 60% back in 1960.

The survey also shows Americans are getting married at older ages than ever before. For women, the average age of a first marriage is 26.5 years; for men it's 28.7 years.

Researchers say it's unclear if people are simply delaying marriage - or abandoning it. They point to similar trends of putting off marriage in other developed countries, especially in Europe.

And - experts say the sharp drop in marriages from 2009-2010 "may or may not be related to the sour economy." They point out that marriage has actually been on the decline for the last 50 years.

Also, this drop in marriages reflects an increase in other kinds of living arrangements - including couples living together without getting married and single parenting.

Some suggest there's been a huge cultural shift when it comes to getting married. For example, around 40% of people say marriage is becoming "obsolete."

And as one sociologist tells the Washington Post, "In the 1950s, if you weren't married, people thought you were mentally ill. Marriage was mandatory. Now it's culturally optional."

Here’s my question to you: Do you think marriage is becoming obsolete?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


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Filed under: Marriage