“I Do”…or Maybe “I Do Not”

According to Fox News, the percent[age] of married households in the [United States] fell to 48.4% in 2010, down from 55.2% in 1990 and 78% in 1960. This is the lowest in recorded history for our country. In 1960, according to The L.A. Times, almost 50% of […] 18- to 24-year-olds and 82% of 25- to 34-year-olds were married. Today, it is 9% of the 18-to-24 group and 44% of the 25-to-34 group. [T]he average age of first marriage is almost 27 for women and 29 for men, up from 20 and 22, [respectively], in 1960. It also looks like 15% of the population today will remain unmarried compared with the historic [U.S.] norm […] of 10%. [Moreover], close to 40% of births are now to unmarried women. [O]ur country looks much different than it did just 50 years ago.

When you augment in that new marriage in the [United States] declined by 5% just from one year to the next, this lack of commitment is having a major economic impact on our economy. Now, a decline in marriage is not the reason we have been suffering through this recession, but fewer marriages and the recession is not a coincidence.

[As recently reported in] The Huffington Post, […] University of Virginia researchers [have] found that when people get married and have children, several sectors of the economy experience growth. They include childcare, life and personal insurance, household products and services, healthcare, food, home maintenance and home services, pets, and toys. A strong economy depends on a strong family unit, because they not only provide the current customer base but [also] the future workers in an economy. With marriage and fertility rates slowing, this trend of fewer marriages will have a negative long-term impact on the economy.

According to Brookings, in 1970, 44% of women ages 30 to 50 had no independent earnings, compared to 25% of women today. Opportunities in the workplace have allowed women to become more financially independent, making marriage less of an economic necessity. [Additionally], there are now a million more female college graduates than male in our workforce today, when, as recently as 2000, it was just the opposite. […]

So is it time to turn back the clock and urge all of our young people to get married? Maybe it is time we elders just arrange marriages for our kids (because it does not look like the Internet is helping) just to save the economy. I am living the statistics. Of my four kids ages 27 to 33, only one is married (happily, I may add), so I have not done my job to boost this economy.

We in business have to take these statistics quite seriously. Whereas we cannot force people to get married, we can encourage it. […] At the same time, there are many happy couples that can’t afford to get married, and there is a wonderful nonprofit organization, Brides Across America, [that] takes donated wedding gowns to be given to a military bride in need. […]

We are aware that we cannot force the younger generation to do just about anything. They learned from us, good or bad, and will do what they want to do when they want to do it, [s]o if we can’t convince them to get married because of love, let’s convince them they need to do it to save the economy.

Original article here:

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