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Is marriage officially out of style?

A new report from the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University says that fewer of us are walking down the aisle.

Happy young couple

It seems like I get a new wedding invitation every time I walk to the mailbox. I mean, come on: How do all of these distant cousins and random friends from high school get my address? I haven’t talked to these people in ages.

Maybe I’m just bitter because of my whole “eternally single” status, but it turns out that I’m actually not the only single adult woman left in the world. A new study by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University found that the marriage rate is on a serious decline.

“Marriage is no longer compulsory,” study researcher Susan Brown said in a statement. “It’s just one of an array of options. Increasingly, many couples choose to cohabit and still others prefer to remain single.”

According to the report, there are about 31 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried women in the United States. In comparison, that number was 90.2 in 1950. Researchers also found that the average age of first marriage in the U.S. is now almost 27 and that only 47 percent of all women are married, down from 65 percent in 1950.

Divorce is on the rise

Not surprisingly, the divorce rate is going up.

“The divorce rate remains high in the U.S., and individuals today are less likely to remarry than they were in the past,” Brown said.

About 15 percent of women are separated or divorced, compared with less than 1 percent of women in 1920.

Marriage rates vary by race and education level

According to NCFMR, only 26 percent of black women are married. Asian women have the highest rate of marriage at 56 percent.

Interestingly, the number of married, college-age women hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years. What has changed, however, is the number of married women without a high school diploma. According to NCFMR, 60 percent of women with a bachelor’s degree are married, compared with 30 percent of those who never graduated high school.

What did the study not tell us? How many women who have wedding boards on Pinterest are actually planning a wedding. Please tell me I’m not the only single woman who has one of these!

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