The marriage rate in the U.S. reached an all-time low in 2018, the latest year for which data is available.
A recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that in 2018, only 6.5 new marriages took place for every 1,000 people. That is a 6% drop from the previous recorded rate and, according to NCHS statistician, a record low since data keeping began in 1867.
Some reasons for decline in the marriage rate reportedly include financial stress and less compliance with religious norms. Increasingly, people are living together and starting families without getting married. The Wall Street Journal reports that middle-class Americans are less likely to marry than wealthier ones.
Sally Curtin, who is the lead author of the center's recent report, said it is possible economic problems from the coronavirus pandemic could curtail marriages for a while. It is also possible that couples who have held off on marrying because of the pandemic may host a slew of weddings as shutdown orders and travel restrictions ease.