A couple taking wedding photos in Central Park on April 25. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
The U.S. marriage rate fell by 6% in 2018 to only 6.5 new unions for every 1,000 people, per a report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
Why it matters: It's the lowest rate recorded since the federal government began collecting data in 1867, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Marriage is correlated with a number of positive health outcomes, including longer lives and fewer strokes and heart attacks, according to Harvard Medical School.
What's happening: More people are forming households without marrying.
- Declining religious observance and growing acceptance of unmarried households are also playing a role.
By the numbers: Around half of American adults lived with a spouse in 2019. About seven in 10 lived with a spouse in 1970.
- Around 7% lived with a partner last year — up from less than 1% in 1970.
What's next: The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic may further discourage marriage as the virus disrupts everyday life and produces economic instability.
Go deeper: Coronavirus reshapes American families