October 14, 2006

In most households, there is no marriage.

I don't think this means that "To Be Married Means to Be Outnumbered," as the NYT headline puts it.
The American Community Survey, released recently by the Census Bureau, found that 49.7 percent, or 55.2 million, of the nation’s 111.1 million households in 2005 were made up of married couples — with and without children — just shy of a majority and down from more than 52 percent five years earlier.
Are most individual adults married? If singles live alone, they create more households per capita. And the percentage is affected by all the widows who outlive their husbands and all the young people who delay getting married. Individuals in both those groups are still the marrying kind.

But how much should we worry about the trend? Would it be awful if too many people decided that being single is the better way to live? Personally, I like that other people embrace marriage. It gives a nice solidity to society. Is it bad of me not to help with that enterprise?

21 comments:

Revenant said...

Would it be awful if too many people decided that being single is the better way to live?

I don't think it would be. Of course, I also have no interest in marriage or kids, so I'm hardly impartial. But I contribute more to society than I use up, and that's good enough for me.

Maxine Weiss said...

Is it bad of me not to help with that enterprise?---Althouse

Yes.

Peace, Maxine

Mortimer Brezny said...

Yes, because your feet are going to waste.

JorgXMcKie said...

Just one more example of a crappy statistic put to an idiot use.

Households include widows, the divorced, and young people just starting up. With the average age of marriage going up, guess what happens to the number of 'unmarried households'? Right. It goes up, too.

There is either too much info for this story or waaaaaay too little.

It's a non-story story.

(Given I'm watching the Cards-Mets, the turing word of bllpvipn seems apropos. It has to have something to do with relief pitching.)

Ann Althouse said...

"...your feet are going to waste."

No, they aren't. I'm using them to type this blog.

Jay said...

With later marriages among the younger educated generation and ever more nevermarried motherhood among the uneducated younger generation, the trend can only continue. Increasing middle aged divorces add more power to it. I do not know how society will adjust to the new reality, but it seems here to stay.

downtownlad said...

It's a good trend. Married people have used their numbers in society to steal from single people and give that money to themselves. It is pure theft. We have to subsidize their children through school taxes, we subsidize stay at home wives, we subsidize them through tax breaks for the sale of homes, and over 1000 other benefits.

Eventually this demographic shift will give force for single people to speak up - and demand that they be treated as equals by our government.

Icepick said...

Actually I'm glad to see that you are against welfare and lending a helping hand to anyone but yourself. I'm glad to see that you are all for elminating welfare, and eliminating government funding of education (If those children are too stupid to teach themselves then fuck 'em. When was the last time any of THEM paid any taxes?), and eliminating police and fire departments for areas that can't afford to fund such services through their own taxes (Those goddamned poor people are always looking for a handout, yes? The lazy bastards should get out there and get a job.), etc. Good to see that you've finally joined to forces of darkness and don't give a damn about anyone but yourself and your own narrowly defined self-interests now.

downtownlad said...

Wrong Icepick. I don't need a helping hand. I'm doing fine on my own thank you very much.

reader_iam said...

Married people have used their numbers in society to steal from single people and give that money to themselves. It is pure theft.

Based on that statement, how exactly is it that you advocate marriage for gay people? You should, instead, be advocating for the abolishment for marriage, period.

And when marriage--whether by that name or otherwise--becomes the reality, which I personally believe that it will, sooner or later, does that mean that you will utterly decry that development and not just eschew that opportunity for yourself, but denounce those who choose to partake of it, on the same principle you just invoked?

That's a serious question, DTL.

reader_iam said...

becomes the reality

That should be:

becomes the reality as an option for gay people

reader_iam said...

Hm. Well, I suppose you could say, DTL, that you're not advocating marriage, per se, for gay people, but just that the institution, with all its benefits (and deficits) should be available to gay people as well. That's probably a closer-to-accurate description of your stance, right?

Except that, again, based on the statement I cited in my previous comment, it's still bankrupt, and you're still wasting time and principle in advocating that position if indeed you believe that marriage is pure theft.

You should be cutting straight to the chase, still, and advocating the abolishment of marriage, period.

It really is possible that I've misunderstood your position, over time. Have you been advocating the abolishment of marriage, as such? And the attendant benefits?

Daryl Herbert said...

if indeed you believe that marriage is pure theft.

r_iam, dtl never said that marriage was pure theft.

He said the tax structure benefitting married people was theft.

altoids1306 said...

downtown lad:

It's probably true that married couples do get substantial financial benefits, but those are often negated entirely by being shifted to a higher tax bracket (Ever heard of the "marriage tax"?). So I'm not sure married people pay more or less. I'm sure it depends from case to case.

I actually agree that schools should not come from property taxes, that just doesn't even make sense.

But, I assume the government believes that having married people is in the interest of the nation. Someone has to create the next generation that will pay for the massive social promises made to this generation. Who will pay for your Social Security? But I have retirement investments, you say. Well then, when you want to sell them, who will you sell them to?

Revenant said...

You should be cutting straight to the chase, still, and advocating the abolishment of marriage, period.

It isn't necessary to abolish marriage. The government just needs to stop treating married people better than it treats single people.

MrsWhatsit said...

dl said "It's a good trend. Married people have used their numbers in society to steal from single people and give that money to themselves. It is pure theft. We have to subsidize their children through school taxes, we subsidize stay at home wives, we subsidize them through tax breaks for the sale of homes, and over 1000 other benefits."

Maybe I just haven't had enough coffee yet but this comment is making no sense to me. I am not aware of any government subsidy for stay-at-home wives, in this country at least, and none lasting more than a few months even in European countries. I am not aware that tax breaks for the sale of homes are available only to married people. For that matter, I am not aware that only married people can have children who need educations -- I know quite a few unmarried couples, gay and straight, whose children have not been turned out of the public schools. And the last I checked, the income tax structure penalized marriage rather than subsidizing it, at least for those who file jointly.

So what comes out of this comment is more illogical resentment of married people than reason.

Pogo said...

So, as in Europe, marriage dies a slow death.

And as in Europe, their numbers are being replaced by marrying, reproducing Islamists. You know, the ones that demand to change the date of the Olympics, to determine the shape of Apple buildings, that control French neighborhoods, that riot over faked cartoons, that kill Danish film-makers, that down a government in Spain by blowing up trains.

The Decline of the West before our eyes. Oh, man, I'm such an alarmist.

No, marriage, like property, is theft. It's makes much more sense being single. No reason to support it. None at all.

Shanna said...

Married people have used their numbers in society to steal from single people and give that money to themselves. It is pure theft.

I wouldn't say it's pure theft, and for the most part I would say it is less being married that gets all the subsidies but having children. The childless do pay for everybody's children. The vast majority of my property taxes go to the schools.
Based on that statement, how exactly is it that you advocate marriage for gay people?

The benefits given to married people are a major reason why I am for gay marriage or civil marriage at least. Because I don't think you should be unable to put your partner on your insurance, in fact I think everybody unmarried person should be allowed to put one adult and maybe a couple of random kids on their insurance. In fact, that could be a very conservative type of community outreach. If I could pay a little extra money and put two uninsured kids on my insurance I might do that. But I can't because they're not MINE and I can't put a uninsured non-spouse on their either. Which is bull, to me. That is the kind of benefits married people get that singles are denied. What if my brother were out of a job and I wanted to put him on my work insurance? Why does Bob in my office's wife get to go on their and I subsidize it by not having a husband?

Most people put up with this with the idea that they may one day get married, but it still sucks and gay people, if they can't get married, have no reason to put up with it.

vegetius said...

Kipling as a seer:...
On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

"Gods of the Copy Book Headings" looks the lyric definition of our times.

The Tiger said...

Here's a solution for you all: abolish marriage benefits in the tax system and introduce a flat tax rate.

Therefore, no redistribution from singles and no "marriage penalty" of higher brackets.

No thanks are necessary for this. ;-)

Revenant said...

So, as in Europe, marriage dies a slow death. And as in Europe, their numbers are being replaced by marrying, reproducing Islamists.

You misspelled "Catholics". Islamists are not taking over the United States.

It's makes much more sense being single. No reason to support it. None at all

If marriage cannot survive without being on the government dole, marriage must not be a useful institution to people.