I think it’s really instructive to look at 40-year-old respondents. I think that this is an age where if someone is going to be married, they have probably already walked down the aisle.
In 2008, among men, about 20% have never been married. For 40-year-old men in 2022, 37% had never been married. That’s insane to consider — a 40-year-old man is nearly twice as likely to never be married in 2022 compared to 2008.
For women, there are also huge differences, as well. In the 2008 data, about 12% of women had never been married by their 40th birthday. In 2022, that share had increase to 26%. In other words, a 40-year-old woman was twice as likely to be unmarried in 2022 vs. 2008.
That’s just a 14- year window of time, not decades.
Let’s bring religion into the mix now, though. It certainly is looming in the background of these conversations. Every Western religious tradition has a strong ethic of marriage and family and there’s certainly reason to believe that being single puts one out of step with the predominant culture of religious communities in the United States.