Over the last decade, a staggering number of Americans have chosen to live alone, rather than with a partner or spouse. The move has a lot to do with the financial restraints the recession has put on young workers.
A new Pew Research Center survey found that 42% of Americans don’t live with a partner, which is a three percent increase when compared with pre-recession levels. When it comes to people under the age 35, 61 percent don’t live with a partner or spouse, which is a 5 percent increase from 2007.
Marriage rates have also declined significantly over the last decades which can only contribute to the growing problem. Currently, just 50 percent of Americans are married. In 1960, that number stood at 72 percent.
Pew researchers also found that American women get married on average after their 27th birthday, while men start thinking about marriage after the age of 29.5.
Americans Postponing Marriage
Lead author Kim Parker noted that the age of the first marriage in America has gone up “significantly” in recent decades. However, Americans are not only postponing marriage, some of them have grown accustomed to living alone.
The Pew team believes that the high rates of homes without a partner or spouse are not caused by failing marriages. Divorce rates have remained flat in recent years. Analyst believe the phenomenon is mainly due to men’s inability to provide for a family because of wages’ levels.
“All signs point to the growing fragility of the male wage earner,”
noted New Strategist Press editor Cheryl Russell after looking at the numbers.
She noted that the men that choose to live alone are those who struggle the most financially like those less educated, young adults, African-Americans, and Latinos.
The research revealed that there is a direct link between men’s salaries and the likelihood of getting married. In those earning less than $40,000 per year, fewer than a half are married especially if they’re in the 30-34 age bracket. Those earning more than $40,000 are married in more than 50 percent of cases, while men earning from $75,000 to $100,000 are married in two-thirds of cases.
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