Married Homes a Minority in U.S.

From the January 2007 Trumpet Print Edition

Marriage is no longer at the center of the majority of U.S. homes. Of America’s 111 million households, 55.8 million—50.2 percent—are marriageless: headed by single moms, single dads, or couples living out of wedlock, including homosexuals. The figures do not include the 30 million single American men and women who live alone.

These statistics, released last August by the U.S. Census Bureau, represent the first time in U.S. history that marriage hasn’t dominated the social landscape. In 1930, fully 84 percent of American households included a married couple.

The 20th century, however, saw momentum build within such anti-marriage trends as fornication and out-of-wedlock parenthood, cohabitation, divorce, single parenthood and homosexuality—at the same time that the stigma of all of these phenomena shriveled. Thus, over that period, the number of marriageless households increased, and the percentage of married households dropped: By 1990 it was 56 percent; in 2000 it was 52 percent.

An Agence France Presse report on the study quoted an American Enterprise Institute sociologist, Douglas Besharov, as predicting that “cohabitation and temporary relationships between people [are] likely to dominate America’s social landscape for years to come.

“‘Overall, what I see is a situation in which people—especially children—will be much more isolated, because not only will their parents both be working, but they’ll have fewer siblings, fewer cousins, fewer aunts and uncles,’ the scholar argued. ‘So over time, we’re moving toward a much more individualistic society’” (Oct. 15, 2006).

The rise in marriageless households is to be expected in a society that, having already lost its understanding of the spiritual meaning behind marriage, is also spurning the traditions that governed its social order for generations. Most simply do not understand the biblically prescribed purposes of marriage.

If you have never studied this subject but have an interest in it, you will find our free booklet Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? a fascinating read. It explains how marriage is far more than a relationship of convenience: It is a God-ordained, spiritual-plane covenant that, properly governed, produces not only personal spiritual growth, a stable environment for children, and societal security, but also contains within it a transcendent spiritual vision.