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Local expert says societal changes causes marriage rate to decrease

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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(WBNG) -- According to the CDC, the current marriage rate is at the lowest level since the U.S. the government began keeping marriage records for the country in 1867.

Doctoral candidate in the marriage and family study lab at Binghamton University, Erin Alexander, said this is due to many factors including a shift in social norms, fear, and a change in what people perceive as important in their lives.

“There’s just been a cultural shift in that its more acceptable to be unmarried in our society today than it was 50 years ago or even 20 years ago,” Alexander told 12 News. “People are much more accepting of being unmarried adults.”

Along with a cultural shift, an unconscious fear of wondering if there is something better waiting for an individual has kept them from tying the knot.

There has also been a focus on an individual’s education and career rather than a priority on finding love and getting married.

Alexander said the rate of being in a relationship has also decreased and there are more single people than there once were.

She told 12 News if an individual is in a rough place with their relationship, quitting is not the only option. She said there are effective ways to repair what someone may think is broken.

“There is hope,” Alexander told 12 News. “There are therapies that are shown to work well and to get relationships back into a more satisfying place.”

She said couples looking for help should look for an evidence-based practitioner who they trust and who will make both them and their partner feel comfortable.