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The Nation : Marriage Rate Declines

September 29, 1986

The marriage rate in the United States is at its lowest level in nine years, apparently because baby boomers are marrying later and less frequently. Richard Cline of the National Center for Health Statistics in Washington predicted that the marriage rate would go still lower. Provisional data shows the rate fell 3% between 1984 and 1985. Marriages fell from 2,487,000 in 1984 to 2,425,000 in 1985. Barbara Foley Wilson, a government demographer, said figures "suggest that the decline is continuing on into 1986." She added: "The number of people eligible to get married is diminishing. . . . People in their 20s are a diminishing number."

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