Woman with pile of money

Marriage Rates Decline as Women See Increase in Wages

A study of women’s wages and marriage rates found that women who earn more are less likely to marry. In fact, as women saw their wages grow closer to those of men between 1980 and 2010, the marriage rate decreased for women, going from 74% to 56%. Some women who may have married for economic security are deciding to postpone or skip marriage if the right partner doesn’t come along.

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Why this matters for church leaders:

As church leaders are consulted for advice about marriage or divorce, they need to know the trends that may be driving a marriage or driving it apart.

  • Marriage and financial security: The decline in marriage due to rising salaries for women suggests that some women had married in the past in order to find financial security. What are the implications for this in counseling couples about marriage?
  • Do women feel trapped in marriage? In some cases of abuse in a marriage, a woman may remain in a verbally or physically abusive marriage due to financial concerns. Howe can churches support women trapped in destructive marriages?
  • Careers vs. Families? When does the pursuit of a career become unhealthy for men and women? What does it look like to have family and work priorities in the right place?

How have you seen this trend play out in your congregation?

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