In 2018, the last year for which accurate statistics are available, the marriage rate in the United States dropped to its lowest level since 1900 (Atlanta Journal Constitution, April 29, 2020). Just 6.5 out of 1,000 people got married in 2018, down from 7.0 in 2016. Many experts believe this number will continue to drop in future years. Experts disagree as to just why the marriage rate is dropping, but it is clear that more couples are living together outside of marriage (Daily Mail, April 29, 2020).
Marriages are more prevalent among financially stable couples, while those in more challenging financial straits are less likely to marry. Yet research shows that marriage can potentially improve a couple’s financial situation and also provide health benefits. While some studies suggest that fewer people are marrying because there are not enough “economically attractive” men available, other experts suggest that “the recent decline may simply be because people are following less traditional family paths.”
Bible prophecy also sheds light on the declining trend in marriage. Speaking about signs that would identify the end of the age, the Apostle Paul wrote that “men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). Many of these characteristics reflect a very self-centered focus—an attitude that does not fit well with biblical marriage, which requires each partner to give to and serve his or her mate. Sadly, in choosing not to marry, millions in the U.S. and other nations are denying themselves the opportunity to experience one of the great joys of life. To learn more about this topic, be sure to read our insightful article “Solving the Mystery of Marriage.”