Does Marriage Make Us Happier?

Daniel A. Cox October 14, 2021

A pair of wedding rings rest on a sandy beach at sunset.

Marriage is on the decline. That’s not breaking news, but a new report from the Pew Research Center sheds new light on the magnitude of the drop. In nearly three decades, the number of Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 who are married dropped from over two-thirds to roughly half. Four in 10 (38 percent) of this age group are now living “unpartnered” according to Pew’s analysis of the American Community Survey. But it’s not just fewer people getting married – we’re also spending less of our lives being married. People are marrying later, and staying married for a shorter amount of time.

This trend has generated considerable concern. The list of purported advantages of marriage is long. A heap of academic work suggests that marriage reduces lonelinessimproves mental health, provides greater financial stability, and increases longevity. What’s more, Brad Wilcox, the Director of the Institute for Family Studies, says the happiness gap between married and unmarried people is growing larger.

But things might not be quite so dire.

Continue reading on American Storylines

Survey Reports

Daniel A. Cox
July 28, 2022

The Democratic Party’s Transformation: More Diverse, Educated, and Liberal but Less Religious

The Democratic party has experienced a lot if change in recent years, where is this change most prominent in the days leading up to 2022 midterms?

An illustration of the side profiles of four people. From left to right: a young white man with blond hair, an older Black woman with short, curly Black hair, a young woman with tan skin and black hair with a blue streak, an older man with darker tan skin with curly grey hair and a mustache.

Daniel A. Cox, Beatrice Lee, Dana Popky
April 27, 2022

Politics, Sex, and Sexuality: The Growing Gender Divide in American Life

The March 2022 American Perspectives Survey examines the growing gender divide in American Life.

Daniel A. Cox
March 24, 2022

Generation Z and the Future of Faith in America

Data from the American National Family Life Survey paints a complicated picture of religious change and disaffiliation in the country today.

Daniel A. Cox
February 9, 2022

Emerging Trends and Enduring Patterns in American Family Life

The American National Family Life Survey examines the changing contours of American family life in the country today.