Is marriage dying?

The Guardian reports today that the marriage rate in the UK has fallen to its lowest level since the mid-19th century.

The trend is familiar to the U.S., where marriage rates have been falling for some time. In Minnesota, for example, the latest statistics show six people per thousand married in 2004, compared to 7.7 in 1990.

So what?

In the Boston Globe today, columnist Stephen Bailey says increasing single-parenthood is creating a separate-but-equal society in America:


Andy Sum has spent years documenting rising inequality in America and has come to believe that what has happened to families is at the heart of it. What the numbers show, he says, is increasing single-parenthood, limited earnings among single moms, declining earnings and rate of marriage among men with no post-secondary schooling, and the tendency for college-educated young adults to marry one another, what the sociologists call “assortative mating.” MBAs marry MBAs; nobody is interested in rescuing Cinderella any more.