top of page

Marriage: A dying institution

As hard as it is for me to type these four words above, truth is that, marriage is indeed an endangered institution.

While the wedding industry and its affiliated sub-sectors are booming; employing record numbers of "professionals" and recording unprecedented profits, the marriages that result from their activities die faster than the weeds that grow without anyones help and the attendant divorces have been equally responsible for the ever-growing importance of the divorce law component of family law.

Weddings fuel a whole industry, creating millions of jobs.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) family database, updated in July of 2018, "In some countries (including Chile, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Slovenia) crude marriage rates (CMRs) are very low at fewer than 3.5 marriages per 1000 people. In others (such as Lithuania, Turkey, and the United States) rates are twice as high at around 7 per 1000 or above. In most OECD countries, the CMR is somewhere between 4 and 5.5 marriages per 1000, with the OECD average standing at 4.8.

In almost all OECD countries, marriage rates have declined over the past few decades. In 1970, most OECD countries had CMRs of somewhere between 7 and 10 marriages per 1000 people. By 1995, in most OECD countries, CMRs had fallen to around 5 to 7 marriages per 1000 people, and in many countries they have continued to fall since. In Portugal, for example, the CMR more than halved between 1995 and 2016 – from 6.6 marriages per 1000 in the former to 3.1 in the latter – while in four others (Chile, Korea, Mexico and the United States) CMRs fell by at least 2 marriages per 1000. Only Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Slovak Republic and Sweden have seen CMRs increase since 1995."

When the statistics on marriage and divorce are further broken down along racial and professional lines, the data and resultant effect of the decline is even more troubling. An overwhelming percentage of men of color of marriage age, in the US for example, have either never been married before or have gotten divorced after a very short stint in marriage. Men and women in certain professions are becoming more and more unwilling or unable to get married for varied reasons, ranging from time constraint, lack of relational/social skills required to thrive outside of their professional enclave and to a lesser extent their outright disdain for the institution of marriage itself; many seeing it as an accaik and unsophisticated tradition from another era which no longer has a place in the modern world.

For all this decline in the preponderance and popular appeal of marriage as a means of setting up stable families, society has been the worse for it. In the black communities in America for example, the absence of stable two parent families has led to an increase in the rate of educational failure amongst men of color in particular, and blacks in general. An even more troubling offshoot of this phenomena is the crime rate in the black communities and its attendant incarceration rate.

The inner cities are littered with single black women struggling to raise kids whose fathers are either in jail or belabored with past criminal records that keep them from ever getting decent enough jobs to keep their heads above the waters long enough to be able to take care of all their children born to them by different mothers to whom they must keep paying court ordered child support.

It is a vicious cycle.


(To be continued)

6 views0 comments


bottom of page