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I Don't: All-Time Low U.S. Marriage Rate, Couples Marrying Later

Along with war, marriage seems to be another thing Americans think is good for absolutely nothing.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, the U.S. marriage rate is at an all-time low of 51 percent, reports NPR. And if couples do decide to get married, it’s now at a later time in life than before.

If the decreasing trend in the current number of married adults continues, in a few years less than half of American adults will be married and at older ages.

So why are couples shirking the sacred ceremony of marriage?

One reason may be the "sour economy," according to researchers. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of new marriages took a plunge of 5 percent.

The other reason could be the changing attitude towards marriage, especially regarding when to get married.

"The most dramatic statistics to me are when you look at the share of younger adults who are married now compared with in the past," said report author D'Vera Cohn.

The marriage rate between 2009 and 2010 for young adults ages 18-24 declined even more precipitously at 13 percent. The average age of first marriage currently is 26.5 for the females and 28.7 for the males, and the number increases if you went to college, the report stated. Only 20 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds are married, according to NPR.

Waiting may not be such a bad thing though, especially if you are a woman. Every year a woman delays marriage to her early 30s, she reduces her risk of divorce, Stephanie Coontz, a family life historian at Evergreen State College in Washington, told NPR.

If you haven't abandoned the tradition of marriage altogether, there are legal and personal considerations you should take into account before making the big commitment. From having a Phoenix family law attorney draw up a prenuptial agreement to making sure you know crucial information about your partner, preparing for marriage doesn't only include planning for the big day.

You can find more information about getting ready for a Phoenix marriage in our Related Resources section.

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