“Do You Take This Person Til Death Do You Part?” No, Not This Year!

FILE - In this May 5, 2020 file photo, the bridal couple Janine and Philip wears face masks after their wedding at a Drive-in cinema in Duesseldorf, Germany. Official data show that Germany saw nearly 30,000 fewer marriages in this year’s first six months than a year earlier because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

One would expect the number of marriages in 2020 to be at an all-time low, because honestly, who wants to get married in the midst of a pandemic and have a wedding that very few people can even attend? When it comes to marriage, this year may prove to be the beginning of a trend, as 2018 and 2019 also notched all-time lows for the number of couples saying “I do.”

The number of marriages comes from census data. As Wendy Wang, director of research for the Institute for Family Studies, noted, “For every 1,000 unmarried adults in 2019, only 33 got married. This number was 35 a decade ago in 2010 and 86 in 1970.” Wang also addressed the thought that 2020 would continue the downward trend. “On top of the already record-high share of never-married adults, Americans are postponing their marriage plans because of the pandemic. The initial state-level data suggests a dramatic decline in marriage certificates filed during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Given that “can’t afford a wedding” and “not having a stable job” ranked high on the reasons why today’s singles are not married, “It is reasonable to predict that fewer singles will tie the knot amidst a pandemic, when financial distress is high,” said a report on the http://ifstudies.org website.

The low marriage rate may actually have a role in another interesting stat from the census data. According to another report from the Institute for Family Studies, the divorce rate in 2019 hit a 50-year low. Many analysts point to the fact that people may now be more selective when choosing someone to marry.

According to census data, the median time a marriage now lasts is close to 20 years.

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