We went to a wedding on Saturday. The bride and groom were radiant. The afternoon pleasant for the outdoor ceremony. Fewer families share this experience every year. Saturday's happy couple are members of a cohort that is declining: newly married adults. The "newly married" are those married in the past 12 months. The number dropped from 4.51 million in 2008 to 4.23 million in 2010, even as total population continued to climb. All of the statistics pertaining to marriage show the same trend. The share of American adults currently married reached an all time low of 51% in 2010, down from 72% in 1960. More interesting, 39% of those interviewed by the Pew Research Center in their analysis of decennial census data agree that marriage is becoming obsolete. More interesting still, only 26% of adults who have been married before say that they want to marry again, compared with 61% of never-marrieds who want to marry in the future.
What to make of all this when the sun is setting on the hugs, kisses and tears that accompany the exchange of vows and introduction of the newly-weds to their family and friends? Hope springs eternal? Or, a new fool born every day? I am an optimist. I believe that the commitment adds value to the union. I was pleased to be witness to a new union. The champagne tasted best during the toast to their happiness.