Report: U.S. Marriages are Down…Way Down

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Photo via the Daily Wh.at

If you were thinking of tying the knot, jumping the broom, getting hitched, make her/him honest, or clubbing someone over the head, thanks to the sluggish economy of the past two years, you may well be one of the few making such plans.

Data reported by the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington-based research organization that comes up with global demographic stats, show that the number of American young adults, aged 25-34, have dropped a dramatic 10 percentage points between 2000 and 2009 from 55.1% to 44.9%, citing the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Among the total population, aged 18 or older, marriage dropped from 57% in 2000 to 52% in 2009.

(More on TIME.com: See photos of love and marriage on prime-time TV.)

The numbers are the lowest since the Census Bureau began counting marriage a century ago and follows a trend in which the number of married adults was greater than 80% in the mid-60s, but dropped closer to 55% or less. The reason, the PRB says, are numerous, including a higher rate of divorce beginning in the 1970s, better education and workforce participation for women, and an increase in cohabitation. The data does show, however, that about 90% of adults will get married at some point in their lives.

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