Recession Is Not Hurting Marriage

Op-ed: The statistics are easy to misread
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2010 1:25 PM CDT
Recession Is Not Hurting Marriage
The recession hasn't changed marriage rates.   (PRNewsFoto/greenKarat)

Despite a spate of recent reports to the contrary, the nation's economic trouble isn't hurting the institution of marriage, writes a UPenn professor in the New York Times. Over the past century, "marriage and divorce rates have remained remarkably immune to the ups and downs of the business cycle," writes Justin Wolfers, and it's no different this time. The problem is that marriage statistics are easy to misread.

Instead of focusing on who's getting married at what age, look at the number of certificates issued—2.1 million in 2009. True, it's a slight decline since the recession started, writes Wolfers, "but it’s the same rate of decline that existed during the preceding economic boom, the previous bust, and both the boom and the bust before that." One thing we do know is that more couples have moved in together during the recession, presumably to save on costs, and some will no doubt marry. "Truly, the recession has not torn young couples apart; it has pushed them closer together." (More recession stories.)

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