Talk to any demographer. Marriage is in irreversible decline. According to Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of "Generation Unbound," 40% of young people are unmarried. Now, that doesn't mean people will stop getting married. You've been to a bunch of weddings this year. What it means is that marriage as a precondition to parenthood is no longer the established norm from which everything else is a deviation.
Barely half of U.S. adults are married, a record low. The trend is not very different in other countries which suggests there's more going on than our own specific morals and policies. And, it probably won't reverse. Demographic trends of this size and steepness rarely do. So, a question today is how do we live within the downward sloping curve of marriage?
Later today, we'll talk to Thomas Frank about the so-called MacArthur Genius Grants. Do they have a purpose other than depressing me when I don't get one.
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- Isabel Sawhill is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, co-director of the Center for Children and Families, and the author of many books including most recently, Generation Unbound
- Thomas Frank is the author of several books including, and most recently, Pity the Billionaire. His essays appear in many publications including Harper's Magazine and the New York Times. He's also the founder of The Baffler magazine