The first bar chart illustrates changes in the marriages and divorces rates in the USA over a period of 30 years. The second bar chart shows the figures for marital status of American adults in 1970 and 2000.
Overall, there was a drop in the number of marriages between 1970 and 2000 and 'married' is by far the most popular marital status among Americans. There were higher rates of never married and divorced people in 2002 compared to 1970.
In 1970, there were a total of 2.5 million marriages and 1 million divorces in the USA. The latter went from 1 million cases to reach a figure of 1.4 million 10 years later, falling back to 1 million by the end of the period. On the other hand, there was a downward trend in the number of marriages, stagnating at 2.5 million until 1980 prior to decreasing to 2 million cases by 2000.
The percentage of divorced people was the lowest figure in 1970. This figure then rose to nearly 10% by 2002. Similarly, there was a higher rate of unmarried people in 2002, 20% compared to 15% in 1970. While 70% of Americans adults were married in 1970, ending at under 60% by 2002, widows constituted the smallest proportion of adults in 2002 after dropping from 8%