Advertisement

The Continuing Retreat of Marriage: Figures from Marital Status Life Tables for United States Females, 2000–2005 and 2005–2010

  • Robert SchoenEmail author
Part of the The Springer Series on Demographic Methods and Population Analysis book series (PSDE, volume 39)

Abstract

The lack of vital statistics data on American marriage and divorce has made it difficult to follow post-1995 changes in marriage behavior. Here, a new approach, Rate Estimation from Adjacent Populations (REAP), is used in conjunction with vital statistics mortality data and recently released divorce data from the American Community Survey to construct marital status life tables that reflect the lifetime implications of observed or inferred rates of marriage, divorce, and mortality. Methodologically, the chapter sets forth the features of the REAP approach. Substantively, the analysis shows that the retreat from marriage is continuing, but unevenly. The probability that a woman ever marries has fallen to 80 %, and the average age at first marriage has risen, slightly, to 27 years. At the same time, the probability of divorce appears to be holding steady at about 43–46 %. The results suggest that the great transformation of the American family has not yet run its course.

Keywords

Marital-status life-tables Divorce probability Proportion ever-marrying Marriage age Sequential cross-sections Rate estimation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Assistance from Joshua Goldstein, Rose Kreider, Jamie Lewis, and Steven Ruggles is gratefully acknowledged.

References

  1. Arias, E., Rostron, B. L., & Tejada-Vera, B. (2010). United States life tables, 2005. National vital statistics reports (Vol. 58, No. 10). Hyattsville: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
  2. Axinn, W. G., & Thornton, A. (2000). The transformation in the meaning of marriage. In L. J. Waite (Ed.), The ties that bind (pp. 147–165). New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  3. Copen, C. E., Daniels, K., Vespa, J., & Mosher, W. D. (2012). First marriages in the United States: Data from the 2006–2010 national survey of family growth (National Health Statistics Reports No. 49 (March 22)). Hyattsville: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
  4. Elliott, D. B., Simmons, T., & Lewis, J. M. (2010). Evaluation of the marital events items on the ACS. U.S. Technical and Analytic Reports on the American Community Survey. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau. Downloaded November 16, 2014, from https://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/marriage/data/acs/index.html
  5. Goldstein, J. R. (1999). The leveling of divorce in the United States. Demography, 36, 409–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kennedy, S., & Ruggles, S. (2014). Breaking up is hard to count: The rise of divorce in the United States, 1980–2010. Demography, 51, 587–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kreider, R. M., & Simmons, T. (2003). Marital status, 2000. Census 2000 brief (C2KBR30). Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.Google Scholar
  8. National Center for Health Statistics. (1996). Births, marriages, divorces, and deaths for 1995. Monthly vital statistics report (Vol. 44, No. 12). Hyattsville: Public Health ServiceGoogle Scholar
  9. National Center for Health Statistics. (2014a). Marriage rates by state. Downloaded August 5, 2014, from website https://cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/marriage_rates_90_95_99-11.pdf
  10. National Center for Health Statistics. (2014b). National marriage and divorce trends. Downloaded August 5, 2014, from website https://cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tables.htm
  11. O’Connell, M., Gooding, G., & Ericson, L. (2007). 2006 Evaluation report covering marital history (American Community Survey Content test Report, p. 9). Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.Google Scholar
  12. Raley, R. K. (2000). Recent trends and differentials in marriage and cohabitation: The United States. In L. J. Waite (Ed.), The ties that bind (pp. 19–39). New York: Aldine de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  13. Ruggles, S. (2015). Patriarchy, power, and pay: The transformation of American families, 1800–2015. Presidential Address at the Annual Meeting of the population Association of America in San Diego.Google Scholar
  14. Schoen, R. (1988). Modeling multigroup populations. New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schoen, R. (2010). Gender competition and family change. Genus, 66, 95–120.Google Scholar
  16. Schoen, R. (2015). Multistate transfer rate estimation from adjacent populations. Population Research and Policy Review, on line 21 September 2015.Google Scholar
  17. Schoen, R., & Standish, N. (2001). The retrenchment of marriage: Results from marital status life tables for the United States, 1995. Population and Development Review, 27, 555–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schoen, R., & Weinick, R. (1993). The slowing metabolism of marriage: Figures from 1988 U.S. marital status life tables. Demography, 30, 737–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Population Research InstitutePennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations