U.S. marriage rate, at century low, is headed down

| 03 Jun 2015 | 01:23

— The United States marriage rate is at a century low and is poised to go lower, according to the 2015 edition of the U.S. Wedding Forecast from Demographic Intelligence. Driven by a cultural retreat from marriage, the marriage rate in the U.S. is predicted to fall to a century low of 6.74 marriages per 1,000 population this year, 6.72 in 2016, and 6.70 in 2016, all down from a rate of 7.9 per 1,000 in 2008.

“Even though we have seen a modest recovery in the economy, the marriage rate continues to slowly decline,” said Sam Sturgeon, Ph.D., president of Demographic Intelligence. “A variety of factors — including sluggish job opportunities for the less educated, and declines in American religion — account for the American retreat from marriage.”

The forecast also provides some evidence, however, that the retreat from marriage in the United States is slowing. Sturgeon noted that the pace of decline in the marriage rate has slowed in recent years, and that the share of births outside of marriage has stopped growing since the Great Recession.

Demographic Intelligence provides forecasts of U.S. wedding trends and births for businesses with an interest in marriage and birth trends in the United States, such as clothing, juvenile products, healthcare, and media. Past clients include David’s Bridal, Disney, Procter and Gamble, and Bain Capital.

“This report fills a critical gap for executives and analysts working in the wedding industry,” noted Dr. Sturgeon. “DI’s projections are particularly important because the economic and cultural drivers of marriage are changing so much today.”