Is marriage obsolete?: By the numbers
A new study suggests that young people are waiting to tie the knot — if they ever decide to do so. Is a venerable institution coming undone?
The age-old tradition of marriage is getting a serious makeover, at least in the eyes of young Americans. A new survey by Pew and Time reveals that young people express a "deep ambivalence" about marriage across the board, and are increasingly wary of getting hitched. The study also found that the definition of what constitutes a family is changing dramatically. (Watch an MSNBC discussion about the study.) Here's a by-the-numbers look at Pew's survey, and what it says about an evolving institution:
Proportion of the 2,691 people surveyed who think marriage is becoming obsolete
U.S. adults who thought marriage was becoming obsolete in 1978
Median age at which men got married in 2010
Median age at which women got married in 2010. The age for both genders has inched "about a year every decade since the '60s."
Adults who were married in 1960. Among 20-somethings, the figure was 68 percent.
Adults who were married in 2008. Among 20-somethings, the figure had fallen to 26 percent.
Percentage of respondents who consider a single parent and a child to be a family; 63 percent say a gay or lesbian couple raising a child constitute a family
Babies born to unmarried moms in 2008
Percentage of people with college degrees who were married in 2008
People with a high school education who were married in 2008. The 16-point gap between college graduates and high school graduates has increased from 4 percent in 1960.
Percentage of Americans with "less education" who said that "financial stability was an important condition for marriage"
Increase of marriages, from 1986 to 2003, in which the woman was taller than the man
Wives who now work outside the home, up from 40 percent in 1970
Increase in people living together between 2009 and 2010. The jump was so sharp that researchers "double-checked their data;" they attributed the rise to the fact that "newly formed couples were less likely to have jobs."
Percentage of people who, despite it all, are upbeat about the future of marriage — a much higher number than those who are optimistic about education or the economy