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Americans are no longer putting a ring on it.
The US marriage rate fell to its lowest level on record in 2018, federal stats released Wednesday show.
New figures from the National Center for Health Statistics reveal the nationwide marriage rate fell 6 percent from 2017 to 2018, with 6.5 new unions formed for every 1,000 people.
The figure marks the lowest rate since the US government started tracking such data in 1867, Sally Curtin, the report’s lead author and a statistician at the federal agency, told the Wall Street Journal.
“Millennials are in peak marriage years, their 20s and 30s, and it’s still dropping,” Curtin told the newspaper. “This is historic.”
There’s no clear reason for the decline, Curtin said, but she expects the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to further drive down the number of Americans getting hitched, citing financial insecurity and restrictions to both travel and social events.
“A lot of it is the economy, and the extent to which Covid has a lasting effect on the economy, it might affect family formation,” she told the Wall Street Journal.
In 2017, the marriage rate was 6.9 unions for every 1,000 people, down slightly from 7 marriages per 1,000 people a year prior. The rate started declining decades earlier in 1982 – when it reached 10.6 marriages per 1,000 people – before stabilizing for several years beginning in 2009. It then ticked upward in 2014 (6.9) and 2016 (7) before declining slightly in 2017, figures show.
In 1946, following World War II, the rate hit a high of 16.4 marriages per 1,000 people, federal stats show.
The data reveals that getting married “has been a long-standing, declining trend since the early 1980s, showing that marriage is less central to the lives of Americans [than] it used to be,” Curtin told NBC’s “Today” show.
This article was syndicated from the New York Post.