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The Source: Falling Marriage Rates About Inequality, Not Morals

Pew Research Center

The state of the American Marriage is in decline. Studies have been showing marriage rates falling for years, but a recent study shows it is actually the lowest it has been in 100 years. A different study out just today shows that the number of "never married" is the highest point it has ever been accounting for 1 in 5 Americans.

While many have argued this is a religious issue and Americans are turning away from older institutions and ideas around coupledom, a strong case can be made that it is the result of changes in wealth, class, and inequality.

In their new book "Marriage Markets: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family" June Carbone and Naomi Cahn argue a multi-tiered system exists.

While the middle class has access to these options the obligations of marriage cannot be met by an increasingly impoverished lower class.


  • June Carbone, Robina Chair of law, science and technology at the University of Minnesota Law School
  • Naomi Cahn, Harold H. Greene Professor of Law at George Washinton University
Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive