4 in 10 Say Marriage Is Becoming Obsolete

And 'family' can include unmarried couples, most believe
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2010 8:36 AM CST
Marriage Becoming Obsolete, and 'Family' Definition Evolving to Include Cohabitation, New Study Shows
In this file photo taken Aug. 8, 2008, wedding rings lay on a tray during a wedding ceremony in Heidelberg, Germany, in front of the bridal couple.   (AP Photo/Daniel Roland, File)

As marriage rates fall, more Americans believe that marriage is becoming obsolete: About 39% of Americans, to be exact. That number is up from 28% who held the same belief in 1978, according to a new study. Nearly one in three children in the US lives with a divorced, separated, or never-married parent, and the definition of "family" is rapidly changing: 6% of children live with parents who cohabitate, but decided not to marry, the AP reports.

Four of five Americans said an unmarried, opposite-sex couple with children is a "family," and three of five used the term to describe a same-sex couple with children. To reflect such changes, the Census Bureau will publish new poverty figures that broaden the definition of family to include unmarried couples and foster children. But don't expect marriage to go anywhere: 46% of unmarried adults want to get married. Click here to read why marriage rates are falling.
(Read more marriage stories.)

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