Minnesota is only months away from a historic turning point that it has been sliding toward for decades: the moment when fewer than half of the state’s adults are married.
The gradual erosion has less to do with a rejection of marriage than with economics, changing lifestyles and an aging population.
“Ninety percent of Americans marry by age 45,” said state demographer Susan Brower. “It’s nothing to do with the institution of marriage. It’s an age thing, including the growth in seniors, who are likelier to be widowed.”
U.S. Census data to be released Thursday show just what the change looks like from city to city: The adult population of an aging Arden Hills, for instance, has dropped from 53 percent married to 44 percent in a single decade, creating a new array of household types.
The percentage of married couples across the nation as a whole dropped below the 50 percent mark just after the turn of the century. Minnesota’s high-end demographics give it one of the nation’s highest rates of marriage, but it’s sliding along with the rest of the country.