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40% of American Women Never Married




By Margarita Nahapetyan

Nearly 40 percent of women under the age of 44 years have never been married, and fewer stay in their first marriage, found a recent government poll by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The new National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) carried out a thorough analysis of first marriages and their chance of survival and found that 38 per cent of American women choose to stay single these days, up from 33 per cent in 1995. The conclusion is based on more than 22,000 in-person interviews with both women and men (not particularly couples) between 2006 and 2010. The age of the surveyors ranged from 15 to 44 years. The study among the women began in 1973, and the male participants were involved at a later time.

It was revealed that the highest number of women who have never tied the knot in their lives was among black ladies - 55 per cent, followed by 49 per cent of Hispanic women who were born in the United States, 39 per cent of Asian women, and 34 per cent of white women. The percentage of women who stayed in their first marriage dropped from 44 per cent in 1982 to 36 per cent. All the experts from The NSFG agree that these numbers are very reliable. According to Andrew Cherlin, sociologist and a demographer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, of all the government surveys and reports, this one has the best methodology in regards of marriage and divorce.

In addition, the data in the poll demonstrated that not only were people waiting longer before getting into matrimonial unit for the first time, it also found that people were moving in together more often before their nuptials. Dr. Galena Rhoades, who led the study for Denver University's Center for Marital and Family Studies Department, said that, in her opinion, more and more people, both male and female, are waiting until they get older to get married, and that a reason could be that a lot of people have grown up in the families where either parents did not get married or did not stay married. Therefore, Dr. Rhoades, continued, a lot of young people these days want to be absolutely sure that they are with the right person before making such a serious decision.

In the report the experts indicated that the percentage of women who were currently cohabiting with a partner increased from 3 per cent in 1982 to 11 per cent in 2006-2010. Also, the study found that women and men who got married for the first time between 2006 and 2010 were older when compared to their counterparts who got married in previous years. An average age for first-time marriages was 26 years for women and 28 years for men. The study found that partners who lived together before their wedding were getting married for the first time with a noticeable delay.

Another interesting finding was that nearly half of marriages (50 per cent) do not survive the first twenty years. The analysis showed that 52 per cent of women's first marriages lasted the first 20 years, and in men's case 56 per cent of marriages did. Education appeared to be a strong factor that was associated with the likelihood of divorce, experts said. For instance, among women with at least a bachelor's degree, 78 per cent were still married 20 years later, when compared to 49 per cent of those with some college diploma and 41 per cent of high school graduates. For men, 65 per cent of those who had at least a bachelor's degree, were still married after 20 years.



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