Recent Marriage Trends

A recent piece in the New York Times points out that the marriage rate is falling. It is not 50% and has not been for some time. People married in the 2000s have the lowest divorce rates since the 1960s.

A critical piece appeared in The Week. It made several criticisms, but the only one I see as substantive was an emphasis that the marriage rate is also declining. This may be inferred from the first article’s statement that people are getting married at older ages, but the point was good to emphasize.

A question follows. If the divorce rate is falling and the marriage rate is also falling, is this a net good or bad? I think it is a net good. I do not think it is right for people to be married in the first place if they would have ended in divorce. I think that a combined lower divorce and marriage rate is a signal that bad marriages are being reduced.

Moreover, I think this improves the credibility of the institutions of marriage and Christianity. Most American marriages are Christian marriages. If Christians want to win converts and influence society then they need credibility. I think better marriages, even if that means fewer marriages, is a step toward credibility.

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