Pew: Religious groups concerned over decline of marriage in US

A large percentage of Americans representing various religious groups feel concerned about fewer people getting married, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey published on Sept. 14. 

According to Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, American adults are either forgoing marriage or delaying the tradition. 

Of the varying religious groups accounted for in the Pew survey, Evangelical Protestants have expressed the most concern about the decline in marriage in the U.S. 

55% of Evangelical Christians say fewer people getting married will have a negative impact on the nation, while only 4% say it will result in a positive effect. 

Here are some key findings, taken from the report: 

  • 42% of mainline Protestants say fewer people ever getting married will have a negative impact on the future of the country, versus just 7% who say this will be positive.
  • 37% of Catholics say a decline in marriage will be negative, while just 6% say it will be positive.
  • 34% of people in the historically Black Protestant tradition think fewer marriages will be bad for society, versus 14% who say this will be good.
  • 20% of religiously unaffiliated adults say a decline of marriage will be negative, compared with 13% who say it will be positive.

The survey follows a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in 2022, which found that there were 1.7 million weddings in 2020, a drop of 17% from the year before and the lowest recorded since 1963.

The plunge was not exactly a surprise since the U.S. marriage rate had been on the decline since 2016.

The pandemic threw many marriage plans into disarray, with communities ordering people to stay at home and banning large gatherings to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

It's not just marriage on the decline either. 

In a separate Pew Research Center survey published in 2022, researchers found that by 2070 Christians in the U.S., could make up less than half of the population by 2070.