Since the year 2000 marriage rates in the United States have been on a steady decline despite a population increase. In the year 2000 there were 8.2 marriages per every 1,000 individuals, totaling 2.3 million with the population sitting at over 281 million.
In 2011 the total number of marriages per 1,000 fell from 8.2 to 6.8 totaling just over 2.1 million, even though the population had grown to over 311 million.
Marriage rates have increased from 2000 – 2011, and divorce rates have actually decreased. In 2000 the divorce rate was 4.0 out of 1,000 people, equaling 944,000 total divorces or annulments. In 2011, the divorce rate was 3.6 out of 1,000 people, equaling 877,000.
There are a few hypotheses that can be drawn from this data. First, fewer marriages despite an increase in populations could mean that people are being more careful in their marriage choices, or that people are waiting longer to get married. You could also gather that the decrease in divorces and annulments could be equated to the drop in marriage rates. This could be cause and effect from the drop in marriage rates or could also mean that people are more content with the individuals they marry.
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