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Marital recession

BY THE NUMBERS | Fewer couples are heading to the altar amid a cohabitation trend and dating divide

Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Marital recession
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The share of young Americans between ages 18 and 34 who are married, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number marks the precipitous decline of a bedrock social institution: In 1978, it stood at 59 percent.

126.9 million

The number of unmarried adults in the United States, according to the Census Bureau.

17 million

The number of unmarried Americans cohabiting with a significant other—up from 6 million two decades ago, according to the Census Bureau.


The share of single women ages 18 to 29 who say they are open to dating, compared with 52 percent of similarly aged men, according to the January American Perspectives Survey.


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