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Thursday, July 21, 2005

More Live Together and Fewer Marry in US

Memorial of St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Rutgers' National Marriage Project has issued its 2005 edition of The State of Our Unions: The Social Health of Marriage in America. It notes that both the U.S. marriage and divorce rates are dropping while the number of unwed couples living together is rising. The study also showed that the number of U.S. children born to unwed mothers and the percentage of children living with a single parent increased to record highs while the ratio of U.S. households with children continues to drop.

According to David Popenoe, the study's co-author, if we put all those together, it means that those people who marry might have a little stronger marriages than they once did, but fewer people are marrying and more people are living together outside of marriage.

There is the silver lining--stronger marriages. I have noted repeatedly that today's culture clash is one of attrition. Marriage is still a "family value," and those who believe in family values will still tend to have families. Like a shrinking Church that can blossom from a vibrant seed, so too can the institution of marriage.

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