National Marriage Week USA kicks off today, and for many people, a national booster movement for marriage could not come any sooner. The recession did a number on American matrimony, as you've surely heard. The collapse in marriage rates is cited as one of the most important symptoms -- or is it a cause? -- of economic malaise for the middle class. But the statistics aren't always what they seem, and the reasons behind marriage's so-called decline aren't all negative.
At first blush, the institution of marriage is crumbling. In 1960, 72% of all adults over 18 were married. By 2010, the number fell to 51%. You can fault the increase in divorces that peaked in the 1970s. Or you could just blame the twentysomethings. The share of married adults 18-29 plunged from from 59% in 1960 to 20% in 2010. Twenty percent!
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