Married couples are no longer in the majority, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Those joined in holy wedlock now only make up 48 percent of all U.S. households. It marks the first time in American history married couples don’t make-up the majority.
Experts attribute the trend to a fast growing older population who is more likely to be divorced. They also note that younger people are putting off marriage until later in life.
“People in their 20s are postponing marriage for many reasons, including money,” Portland State University demographer Charles Rynerson said.
Other factors which dissuade young people from tying the knot include fears of not being able to maintain steady employment, a widening labor market for women and a shift away from having kids at a young age.
Despite the dismal findings, Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, sais that there may be a silver lining.
He noted that the Census Bureau found that while more people are postponing marriage, the divorce rate has dropped.
“Marriage is actually becoming more stable in America and the divorce is becoming less common,” he said.
In addition, a November 2010 Pew study found that 67 percent of the population remains “overwhelmingly optimistic about the institution of marriage and the family.”