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American families taking 'divergent paths,' study finds
Date:9/10/2013

ay be a big reason why young people delayed marriage longer than ever before, with many moving back with their parents as they search for work or weather financial difficulties. In 2008-2010, 43 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds and 19 percent of 25- to 29-year-olds lived with their parents.

Meanwhile, the percentage of U.S.-born women aged 20-24 who have ever been married declined from 31 percent to 19 percent between 2000 and 2008-2010. For men, the decline was from 21 percent to 11 percent.

By ages 50 to 54, 13 percent of American-born men and 10 percent of women remained unmarried.

Divorce and remarriage also increased during the decade. Among currently married men, the proportion who were married more than once increased from 17 percent in 1980 to 25 percent in 2008-2010. Similar results were found for women.

"We're seeing more evidence of a 'marriage-go-round' in which people go from marriage to divorce to remarriage, sometimes multiple times," Qian said.

But all of these results mask the important differences in family outcomes depending on race, education, immigrant status and economic status. Race was especially important.

African Americans had the lowest percentage ever married at every age group, the highest proportion of permanent singlehood by ages 50-54, lower levels of cohabitation, highest divorce-to-marriage ratios, and a larger share of remarriages.

"A lot of this can be linked to the poor economic circumstances of African Americans," he said.

"Unemployment, underemployment and poor economic prospects have a strong negative effect on whether people get married and stay married. African Americans are more likely than other groups to experience all of these problems."

Education also had a strong role in family life. Those with less education married and cohabited at lower levels and divorced at higher levels despite low marriage rates.

"The growing racial, eth
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Contact: Jeff Grabmeier
grabmeier.1@osu.edu
614-292-8457
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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