Report: Is Marriage in America Obsolete? Many Americans Think So

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As the U.S. greeting card industry enjoys another successful day of getting folks to celebrate or stress out about their relationship status, it appears that the other 364 days of the year, fewer and fewer Americans are sold on the institution of marriage.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of married Americans has dropped to around 54% in 2010 from 72% in 1970. A new CBS poll backs up that data: 70% of respondents said they thought the institution of marriage is weaker today that it was 20 years ago.

(More on TIME.com: See TIME’s cover story about marriage in America.)

So why get hitched? Studies find that happily married people are some of the happiest — and healthiest —among us. But the demographic closest on their heels are single women who have never been married and who are 50 and over — presumably at a juncture in their lives that they don’t sweat whatever cultural baggage their non-married status can carry.

But the satisfaction of these women and other long-time singles probably has a lot to do with the fact they have never had to endure a divorce — as do half the people who choose to get married in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Happy Valentine’s Day! (via CBS)

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