For the first time, more women are living without spouses, according to a NY Times report. I know what you're thinking: "Damn you, Paolo, for supporting the trend and living with two unmarried women." Well, at least I call them wives.
The Times reports, "In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000." The causes:
- Divorce rates are high and remarriage rates aren't high.
- Married women often outlive their husbands.
- More couples are choosing to cohabitate instead of marry.
- More people are choosing alternative lifestyles.
- The average age at which people marry is increasing.
The last point intrigues me the most because it's my generation that's driving this trend. According to the article, "The proportion of married people, especially among younger age groups, has been declining for decades. Between 1950 and 2000, the share of women 15-to-24 who were married plummeted to 16 percent, from 42 percent. Among 25-to-34-year-olds, the proportion dropped to 58 percent, from 82 percent."
Why are people my age waiting so long? I think:
- Most people attribute failed marriages to immaturity and marrying "too young," so parents encourage their children to marry older.
- Women have more professional choices than ever before.
- Increasing divorce rates scare people out of marriage.
- Marriage is losing its religious zeal and is seen instead as a (perhaps) unnecessary societal arrangement.