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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Waiting to marry shouldn’t be scary

Only 15 percent of Americans ages25 to 29 in 1970 were unmarried.

No one can be sure why, but according to the latest U.S. census data, 49.7 percent of the nation’s households in 2005 were made up of married couples.

This percentage is down from 52 percent five years ago and a whopping 84 percent in 1930.

The dip in married households could be attributed to many things:

1. More people living with partners or people of the same sex. (In the rural Midwest, the number of male partners living with each other has risen 77 percent since 2005.)

2. Baby boomers defying the norm that was set before them by their parents.

3. The growing number of single adults and elderly widows. (According to the National Association of Realtors, single women bought one in five homes sold.)

4. People being raised by divorced parents. (Divorce rates were at an all-time high in the early ’80s, which means many current 20-somethings grew up with divorced parents.)

5. Most likely, people waiting longer to be married. (Last year, the median age at which Americans married for the first time was 27.1 for men and 25.8 for women, which is up from 23.2 for men and 20.8 for women 25 years ago.)

Now that it is socially acceptable, and sometimes even expected, for both sexes to bring home the bacon, it isn’t as necessary for women to marry early.

As the years have gone by, there hasn’t been the drive to have quick marriages in order to “seal the deal” with significant others.

It seems like years ago, marriage was viewed as the first “big step to adulthood.” But now, there are so many other first steps to complete before considering marriage, such as graduating college, landing a job and living alone.

Marriage seems to now be synonymous with “settling down.” People have the mentality of completing many of their life goals and aspirations before getting married.

With high divorce rates, male/female equality and the need to “grow up” before marrying, it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to wait.

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