by Sarah Wells
February 10, 2012
This week, The Heritage Foundation celebrates National Marriage Week with a series of blog posts that explore the latest trends in marriage and the implications it has for adults, children and society.
"Though 'Americans believe overwhelmingly in the importance of marriage' for decades now, marriage has been steadily declining," The Heritage Foundation's Christine Kim says.
Studies show that Americans are less likely to marry today than in the 1960s, mainly because they are marrying later in life.
The divorce rate also remains high, nearly double the rate of the 1960s, while nearly 60 percent of adults 25-44 have cohabited at some point. More alarming still, unwed childbearing has steadily grown.
University of Virginia professor Brad Wilcox, who directs the National Marriage Project, notes another trend:
Among the affluent, marriage is stable and may even be getting stronger. Among the poor, marriage continues to be fragile and weak. But the most consequential marriage trend of our time concerns the broad center of our society, where marriage, that iconic middle-class institution, is foundering.
America, he argues, "is increasingly a separate and unequal nation when it comes to the institution of marriage."
What do you think can be done to strengthen the institution of marriage?