Translation: Fewer of us are getting hitched these days. In fact, the percentage of men and women who were married fell from 57 percent in 2000, to 52 percent in 2009 (the lowest percentage since the government began collecting data more than 100 years ago). And if you've been feeling lately like you're the only attached girl without a ring on your finger, here's some comforting news (depending on how you look at it): The percentage of ladies who were hitched fell to 49.9 percent. Oh, and PS: The Census Bureau also found that despite the fact that fewer couples are making it official, they're still shacking up in the meantime. The Truth About Moving in Together
Sure, it's true that times they are a changing and with them marriage trends, but these days, many couples aren't necessarily choosing to forgo the wedding and marriage vows because they consider the whole convention obsolete or unnecessary—they just don't have the funds to get hitched. According to the experts who study this stuff, the recession has accelerated the steady decline in marriages we've seen over the past few decades, with many couples postponing marriage until they are in a better spot financially.
"People are unsure about their job security, and a lot of people lost their jobs," said Mark Mather of the Population Reference Bureau, a private research group that analyzed the figures. "Getting married is obviously a big step and if you're not comfortable about your future, it makes sense that you'd postpone a big decision like this."
Let's be serious, engagement rings and weddings don't come cheap. Plus, many consider marriage the first step in a series of serious financial responsibilities—kids, mortgages, life insurance—the list goes on. Some couples want to wait until they save enough moola to handle these next few steps, which is why Andrew Cherlin, PhD, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, believes that more and more couples are living together but waiting until they are more financially secure to actually tie the knot. Unemployment Good For Libido, If Nothing Else
Considering that things don't seem to be getting much better on the financial front and there's been whispers of a second recession, this may not be the most promising news for those of you hoping to walk down the aisle soon. But hey, once this economy actually turns around, at least more couples will have the whole "for richer or for poorer" part down. How The Recession Forever Changed Relationships
Photo via iStock.