Interesting fact about marriage

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The Divorce Rate Is Dropping. That May Not Actually Be Good News

Have you heard that statistic that half of all marriages will end in divorce? It’s wrong. Even if that many marriages ever did disintegrate at one point, they don’t now. Divorce is on the decline and has been since the 1980s in America (when that 50% divorce statistic took hold). Experts now put your chances of uncoupling at about 39% in the U.S. This sounds like such promising news. Families are sticking together! But in practice, this does not mean more people are living happily ever after.

The drop in divorce statistics seems to be, in large part, due to the much-maligned Millennials making their marital vows stick far more often. One recent study says that, compared to their 2008 counterparts, young people in 2016 were 18% less likely to get divorced. That study has not been peer-reviewed but is echoed by the trend in the U.K., which keeps much more robust divorce data. Young Brits’ marriages are 27% more likely to make it through their first decade — the prime divorcing years — than those who got hitched in the ’80s.

So have millennials cracked the code on having and holding as long as they both shall live? Not exactly. One reason divorce is less common among that age group is that marriage — and all of its advantages, from survivor benefits for social security to healthier children to a lower chance of heart attack — is becoming more selective. Once considered a starting block for young people, a launchpad to get them underway as they took the plunge, getting married is now more of a high diving board, a platform for publicly demonstrating that they’ve achieved. The people getting all those marital advantages are those with the most advantages to begin with.

Census figures released on Nov. 14 show that the median age at first marriage in the U.S. is now nearly 30 for men and 28 for women, up from 27 and 25 in 2003. This does not mean that Millennials have stopped living with someone they fancy, though. Cohabiting is becoming a norm in most Westernized countries. In 2018, 15% of folks ages 25 to 34 lived with an unmarried partner, up from 12% a decade earlier. More Americans under 25 cohabit with a partner (9%) than are married to one (7%). Two decades ago, those figures weren’t even close: 5% were cohabiting and 14% were married.

Young couples are delaying marriage not because they’re waiting to find The One, but so that they can feel financially secure. And as jobs for those who stopped their education at high school have become more tenuous, and as income inequality has pushed the have-lots and have-somes further apart, that security recedes further into the distance for a lot of young couples.

So people are living together and if it doesn’t work out, they’re splitting — what’s not to like, right? No alimony. No attorneys. Isn’t that why they’re living together in the first place?

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Not exactly. There are two types of cohabitation. The type people do because they’re almost sure they’ve found a good match, but want one more run-through to check, and the type people do because it solves a looming liquidity, logistical or loneliness problem. Studies have shown that low-income couples tend to move in together sooner than college-educated ones. And those couples who move in together sooner are less likely to get married.

All of this would be nothing more than bad news for the wedding venue industry, except that often cohabitees whose togetherness is the result of happenstance rather than planning often become parents. A Brookings Institute analysis found that there’s a 50-50 chance that a child born to a cohabiting couple was not planned. And according to Pew Research, more than one of every two children born to cohabiting parents will endure a parental breakup by age 9, as opposed to only one-in-five born within a marriage. They’re also more likely to be poor: 16% of cohabiting parents are living below the poverty line, while just 8% of married parents are. And should they split up, things get more dire; 27% of solo parents live in poverty.

The other cohabitees, who move in together after dating for a long time as the last stop on the journey before conjoining their lives legally, rarely get pregnant before tying the knot. And they have about the same success with marriage as those who didn’t live together beforehand. This is especially the case if they are wealthy and have a degree. Divorce among college-educated couples who married before they had children is at levels as low as in the 1970s, before the wide adoption of the no-fault statutes made divorce much less of a legal nightmare.

So yes, the people who are getting married are increasingly staying married. But that group is an ever-smaller and more privileged group of individuals. Marriage is becoming one of the many institutions from which the poor, less-educated and disadvantaged are excluded. And this isn’t just sad because more than half of those who have never married would like to be. It’s sad because it compounds the difficulties of those who already face considerable challenges. Marriage, or the long-term committed relationship between two people that it’s meant to support, is both subject to and contributing to inequality. In its current form, it’s making the climb out of poverty just that much steeper. Which is not romantic at all.

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Unsurprisingly, the annual number of marriages in the United States has slowly but steadily declined over the last 20 years, with the marriage rate in the United States, i.e. the number of marriages per 1,000 people, simultaneously declining from 1990 to 2012. On a positive note, the divorce rate in the U.S. declined during the same period; although it is not clear whether this is simply a side-effect of the shrinking number of unions. It also seems to gain traction again.
Marriage statistics show that the age at which Americans first get married has changed significantly over the past three decades. In 1970, almost half of American women were younger than 20 years at the time of their first wedding, compared to only 6.94 percent in 2009. The age of men at their first wedding has increased simultaneously, albeit to a slightly higher level. Nowadays, the median age, i.e. half of the respective group is younger, the other half is older, on the first wedding day is at around 29 years for men and at about 27 years for women.
Sexual intercourse rates are remarkably higher among married persons than among singles, by the way, although the figures do not indicate whether or not the spouses actually sleep with their significant other or with someone else who is married.
This text provides general information. Statista assumes no liability for the information given being complete or correct. Due to varying update cycles, statistics can display more up-to-date data than referenced in the text.

10 Interesting Facts About Marriage

Guess how much time the average American couple spends alone together each day? You’ll be surprised at how low the answer is. That’s just one of the facts about marriage below you might find hard to believe. Here’s something else that’s interesting, you can dramatically change your marriage for the better if you and your husband will commit to spending just 15 minutes of one-on-one time every day.

Here are 10 interesting facts about marriage.

1. Married couples need to spend more time together.

Due to jobs, kids, TV, the Internet, hobbies, and home and family responsibilities, the average married couple spends just four minutes a day of focused alone time together.

2. Marrying a partner from an affair rarely works out.

Over 75% of people who marry partners from an affair eventually divorce.

3. Marrying young is a greater risk.

Marrying younger than age 25 dramatically raises the divorce risk. Also, the divorce risk is higher when the woman is much older than the man, though the reverse isn’t as strong of a factor.

4. Cohabiting before marriage can pose a greater long-term relational risk.

There have been studies that show a higher divorce rate and lower level of marital satisfaction among couples who cohabitated before tying the knot. Several factors could be unplanned pregnancies leading to an ill-conceived marriage, the lack of a definitive decision to commit, and couples who normally would have broken up had they not been living together.

5. People in happy marriages tend to be more productive at work.

Approximately $6 billion in revenue is lost by American businesses as a result of decreased worker productivity linked to marriage hardship. Employees in a happy marriage, in contrast, tend to increase a company’s bottom line.

6. A good marriage makes people feel more satisfied in life.

Marriage does more to promote life satisfaction than money, sex, or even children, say Wake Forest University psychologists.

7. The most crucial element for a happy marriage:

More than friendship, laughter, forgiveness, compatibility, and sex, spouses name trust as the element crucial for a happy marriage.

8. Happiness after marriage depends on what they were like before marriage.

A 15-year-long study found that a person’s happiness level before marriage was the best predictor of happiness after marriage. In other words, marriage won’t automatically make one happy.

9. A majority of people who divorce get remarried within a few years.

Over 40% of married couples in the U.S. include at least one spouse who has been married before. As many as 60% of divorced women and men will marry again, many within just five years.

10. Birth order can influence whether a marriage succeeds or fails.

The most successful marriages are those where the oldest sister of brothers marries the youngest brother of sisters. Two firstborns, however, tend to be more aggressive and can create higher levels of tension. The highest divorce rates are when an only child marries another only child.

Tell us! Which one of these facts surprised you the most?

10 Interesting Facts about Marriage

Here are 10 interesting facts about marriage you might have never known!

10 Interesting Facts About Marriage

Due to jobs, kids, TV, the Internet, hobbies, and home and family responsibilities, the average married couple spends just four minutes a day alone together. (2)

Over 75% of people who marry partners from an affair eventually divorce. (3)

Marrying younger than age 25 dramatically raises the divorce risk. Also, the divorce risk is higher when the woman is much older than the man, though the reverse isn’t as a strong factor. (5)

The probability of a first marriage ending in a divorce within 5 years is 20%, but the probability of a premarital cohabitation breaking up within 5 years is 49%. After 10 years, the probability of a first marriage ending is 33%, compared with 62% for cohabitations. (2)

Approximately $6 billion in revenue is lost by American businesses as a result of decreased worker productivity linked to marriage hardship. Employees in a happy marriage, in contrast, tend to increase a company’s bottom line. (2)

Marriage does more to promote life satisfaction than money, sex, or even children, say Wake Forest University psychologists. (2)

More than friendship, laughter, forgiveness, compatibility, and sex, spouses name trust as the element crucial for a happy marriage. (2)

A 15-year-long study found that a person’s happiness level before marriage was the best predictor of happiness after marriage. In other words, marriage won’t automatically make one happy. (1)

Over 40% of married couples in the U.S. include at least one spouse who has been married before. As many as 60% of divorced women and men will marry again, many within just five years. (2)

Birth order can influence whether a marriage succeeds or fails. The most successful marriages are those where the oldest sister of brothers marries the youngest brother of sisters. Two firstborns, however, tend to be more aggressive and can create higher levels of tension. The highest divorce rates are when an only child marries another only child. (4)

6 extremely weird facts about marriage

Here are some odd facts and recent revelations about that very interesting state, matrimony.

1. If the wife likes her marriage, her husband feels better about life. But the reverse is not true.

A new study from Rutgers University analyzing data from nearly 400 long-term married couples shows that a wife’s contentment in the marriage is the critical factor in a satisfying arrangement, more so than the husband’s.


To assess their state of happiness, individuals were asked how often the spouse got on their nerves, how often arguments occurred, how they felt doing chores, and whether they felt appreciated. Overall, men felt slightly more happy in their marriages than women. A wife’s dissatisfaction spelled less contentment for her husband, though interestingly, the husband’s lack of contentment didn’t have the same impact on his spouse. Deborah Carr, a professor in the Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Science, suggested this is because “when a wife is satisfied with the marriage she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life.”

Guess it doesn’t work the other way around.

2. Wives become unhappy if their spouses become ill, but husbands not so much.


The same Rutgers study found that women’s contentment in their marriages dropped when their husbands got sick, but men’s attitudes didn’t seem to change when their wives fell ill. What gives? Researcher Deborah Carr divined the answer: “We know that when a partner is sick it is the wife that often does the caregiving which can be a stressful experience….But often when a women gets sick it is not her husband she relies on but her daughter.”

3. Short men tend to stay married, and compensate for their shortness by earning a higher relative share of income.

According to researchers Abigail Weitzman and Dalton Conley of New York University, height has a significant impact on marriage. They found that tall men tend to marry more educated women, older women and women of the same race, but are more likely to divorce. Among short men, however, the rate of divorce was significantly lower than among average and tall men. Men of shorter stature were also more likely to marry much younger women, and earn more than their spouses.


So what’s going on? The authors stated that their research “further confirms an existence of height-based status exchange in which short men compensate for their lower physical status with higher proportional earnings, while tall men appear more likely to use their status to attract women with higher relative earnings.”

4. A big wedding seems to boost the odds of a successful marriage.


Psychology researchers from the University of Denver studied 418 people as part of their Relationship Development Study, with a goal of sussing out elements that contributed to a successful marriage. Eleven percent of participants had no formal wedding ceremony, and of these, only 28 percent of the couples reported having a high-quality marriage.

On the other hand, 41 percent of couples that had formal weddings were happy in their marriages. The researchers opined that couples who were less happy or certain about being together might be less likely to want a big wedding, and they also noted that the decision to have a public ceremony symbolizes a commitment which may influence the mindset of couples. According to the study, the bigger the wedding, the better the couples reported the marriage to be: 47 percent of couples that had 150 or more guests had good marriages, compared with only 31 percent of those who had 50 or fewer guests.

5. You may be genetically predisposed to cheat.


A recent study by researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York has revealed that about half of us inherited a gene that makes us more likely to have one-night stands and to stray if we are in an ostensibly monogamous relationship.

The culprit? A little gene called DRD4. When you carry a variant of that gene, which is a dopamine receptor, you are more likely, according to researcher Justin Garcia, “to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of infidelity.” That same gene appears to make us want to hit the bottle and the blackjack table. Dopamine is involved in the brain’s pleasure and reward system. In cases of uncommitted sex, the risks may be high but the rewards are high, too, which can produce a big ol’ dopamine rush.

The study may shed some light on why some people report feeling very much in love with and attached to their partners, yet still commit acts of infidelity.


6. Maybe we should come up with new words.

The word “wife” is thought to come from the Proto-Indo-European root weip (“to turn, twist, wrap”) or ghwibh, which has a root meaning “shame” or “pudenda.” Neither of which sounds particularly promising.

The word “husband,” on the other hand, derives from the Old Norse husbondi or “master of the house.” The word “spouse” seems to carry less baggage: it has its origins in the Latin wordsponsus “bridegroom” (fem. sponsa “bride”), which comes from the term spondere,meaning “to bind oneself, promise solemnly.”

Some of you may not be surprised to learn that the term “marriage” comes from the Latin wordmas meaning “male” or “masculine.” The earliest known use of the word in English dates from the 13th century.


21 interesting facts about marriage you (probably) didn’t know!

Posted on 5 Apr 2017, in Family


Ok, so you might know some of them, but we challenge you to read this article and not learn something new!

For some, marriage is what a particular date in the calendar means to them, receiving flowers and perhaps, going out for dinner. But here we look at what marriage actually means and the interesting facts surrounding it.

1.The term ‘marriage’ comes from theMiddle English word ‘mariage’– which appeared around 1250–1300

2. ‘Wife’ is likely to come from the Indo-European root ‘ghwibh’, meaning “shame” or ‘pudenda’. The original meaning of the phrase ‘wife’, meaning ‘woman”, can be seen in words such as ‘midwife’ and ‘fishwife’.

3. ‘Husband’ is from the Old Norse ‘husbondi’ or ‘master of the house’ (literally, ‘hus-house’ + bondi ‘householder, dweller’).

Choosing your partner

4. Psychological and social research indicates there is a significant pattern in how people choose their partners. The Matching Hypothesis, a social psychology theorem, suggests that people are more likely to form and succeed in a relationship with someone who is equally desirable. This doesn’t have to be physical, other socially desirable qualities such as intelligence and personality also count.

5. That said, research also suggests that couples who are too similar to each other are less likely to last. While a foundation of similarities can help, there should also be things you can learn from each other.

6. Litigious Americans need to be extra cautious before popping the question (or accepting), as you can be sued for breaking off an engagement in nearly half of U.S. states.

Sex – there is no ‘normal’ amount

7. According to Newsweek magazine, married couples have sex about 68.5 times a year, which works out at a little more than once a week.

8. A University of Chicago Study revealed 32% of married couples have sex two or three times a week and 47% say they have sex a few times a month.

9. David Schnarch, PhD, studied more than 20,000 couples and found that only 26% of couples were having sex once a week.


10. People who commute for more than 45-minutes are 40% more likely to divorce.

11. A 99-year-old man divorced his 96-year-old wife after 77 years of marriage because he discovered an affair she had in the 1940s.

12. Couples who spend more money on their wedding are more likely to divorce, a study found.

13. Researchers found a huge decline in happiness after the first four years of marriage, followed by another decline in years seven to eight. Half of all divorces occur in the first seven years of marriage- hence the term ‘seven-year -itch’.

Happy marriages

14. The longest recorded marriage lasted 90 years and 291 days.

15. Wake Forest University psychologists claim that marriage does more to promote life satisfaction than money, sex, or even having children.

16. Spouses name ‘trust’, over friendship, laughter, forgiveness and sex, as the most essential element for a happy marriage.

Historic Marriages

17. In 1533 Henry VIII famously broke England’s ties with the Catholic Church and changed the face of our nation forever purely because he wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.

18. Recordings of same sex marriages date back to ancient times. At least 2 of the Roman Emperors were in same sex unions. Nero, the Roman Emperor, was the first Roman emperor to marry one of his freedmen. The relationship continued without too much debate until Christianity became the official religion. In 1989, Denmark was the first post-Christianity nation to legally recognise same-sex marriage

Bizarre traditions

19. In the 16th and 17th century in Europe and America, the concept of ‘bundling’ was widely used. This allowed courting couples to get to know each other and share a bed fully clothed with a ‘bundling board’ to separate them – in the safety of the girl’s house.

20. In some parts of 18th Century Europe, a biscuit or small loaf of bread was broken over the head of the bride as she came out from the church. Unmarried guests would collect the pieces and place them under their pillows to increase their own chances of marriage.

It’s thought this is where our wedding cake tradition comes from.

Love actually

21. An impressive 75-year-long study, conducted by a group of Harvard researchers, has shown that love is all that really matters. The participants’ lifelong experiences revealed that happiness and life fulfilment revolved around love or simply searching for love.

Love is really all that matters.

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Here are 25 Interesting Facts About Marriage and Divorce.

1-5 Interesting Facts About Marriage and Divorce

1. A study done by two economics professors at Emory University found that the divorce rate of couples whose wedding cost more than $20,000 is 1.6 times higher than those whose wedding cost between $5,000 and $10,000, and couples who spent $1,000 or less had a lower-than-average rate of divorce. – Source

2. A woman won $1.3 million lottery, hid it from her husband and immediately divorced him to avoid giving him half. He found out after the divorce and sued her. Due to a Family Code statute that penalizes spouses for falsifying data about their property during divorce, judge ordered her to give him 100% of the winnings. – Source

3. A third of all divorce filings of 2011 in the U.S. contained the word ‘Facebook.’ – Source

4. Last feudal state collapsed in 2008, a tiny island called Sark where cars, street lights and divorce are illegal. – Source

5. 85% of fat people who meet and marry their spouse while they are fat and later have Bariatric surgeries, divorce their spouse within 2 years of the surgery. – Source

6-10 Interesting Facts About Marriage and Divorce

6. A few hundred years back, women in Turkey could legally divorce their husbands, if he didn’t provide them with enough coffee. – Source

7. Einstein, as part of his divorce, offered his wife all the money he would get if he were to win the Nobel Prize. She accepted and years later he delivered on his promise when he won it. – Source

8. Robert Lucas, upon receiving a Nobel Prize in economic sciences, was only awarded half the prize money. His ex-wife had placed a clause in their divorce settlement in 1988 stating she would receive half the prize money if he won the prize in the following 7 years. He won in the price in 1995. – Source

9. Mail-order marriages are less likely to end in divorce than marriages overall in the United States – Source

10. During his trial in Florida, Ted Bundy took advantage of a Florida law proclaiming that any declaration of marriage in a courthouse in the presence of court officers is valid and legally binding. Using this odd law, he proposed to his current girlfriend, Carol Ann Boone, during his re-direct of her on the stand. At that moment Boone became Bundy’s wife. A few short hours later, he was sentenced to death. – Source

11-15 Interesting Facts About Marriage and Divorce

11. The happiest marriages are those where the wife is able to calm down quickly after arguments. – Source

12. When Russell Brand and Katy Perry divorced, Russell was eligible to claim half of the $44 million she earned during their marriage, but he declined. – Source

13. In a study that surveyed older couples married for an average of 39 years, it was found that wife’s happiness is more important than her husband’s when it comes to keeping a happy, lasting marriage. – Source

14. In 1958, Alabama tried to ban a children’s book about a white bunny marrying a black bunny, claiming it promoted mixed-race marriage. The author was confused, since he had made the bunnies black and white to look picturesque in the illustrations. – Source

15. Swedish author Stieg Larsson never married his partner Eva Gabrielsson because under Swedish law, couples entering into marriage are required to make their addresses publicly available. Marrying would have been a security risk for them. – Source

16-20 Interesting Facts About Marriage and Divorce

16. Up until 1974, banks could refuse to issue a credit card to a woman unless she was married and her husband co-signed for the card. A divorced woman was considered too much of a risk because she “couldn’t keep a marriage under control.” – Source

17. In 2011, a woman in France sued her husband and won $15,000 for not giving her enough sex during their marriage. – Source

18. A religious sect named “the Shakers” enforced a strict policy of celibacy, even after marriage. They’ve been dying out as a result. – Source

19. The longest recorded marriage lasted 91 years and 12 days. – Source

20. Iran is the only country where mandatory contraceptive courses are required for both males and females, before a marriage license can be obtained. – Source

21-25 Interesting Facts About Marriage and Divorce

21. In ancient Greece, throwing an apple at someone was considered a marriage proposal. – Source

22. Both women and men tend to be less happy in marriages where the woman makes more money than the man.- Source

23. Since the 11th century, there have only been two cases of British royal marriages where the couple has been unrelated. – Source

24. Boston Marriage is a 19th Century term for two women living together, independent of financial support from a man. – Source

25. Saudi Arabia promotes practice of marriage between close relatives which has produced high levels of genetic disorder including thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, spinal muscular atrophy, deafness and muteness. – Source

42 Facts About Strange Marriage Customs From Around The World

“Mawwaige….. is wot bwings us togeddah…” The clergyman in The Princess Bride may have said it best, but cultures all over the world have been celebrating marriage for thousands of years. Each culture has its own traditions and ceremonies to celebrate the joining of two people in love and matrimony, be they funny or carefree, serious or solemn. From eating chocolate and champagne from a toilet in France to dancing with a camel in Niger, here are 42 ways that people around the world celebrate marriage!

Marriage Customs Facts

Traditional Norwegian couples are married while dressed in red and blue tunics covered with gold and silver bangles, which clink together making sounds that keep evil spirits away during their nuptials. They also don reindeer skin boots and wear crowns covered with charms shaped like spoons. To follow the tradition, the bride must dance until her crown falls off.

41. A Colorful Shower

Italian couples can expect to be showered with brightly-coloured bits of paper called coriandoli at their wedding celebrations. The word confetti comes from this practice—confetti refers to sugared almonds or candies that were once thrown at these celebrations. This was an expensive and somewhat wasteful practice however, and in 1875 a clever merchant in Milan began selling tiny colored paper discs for this purpose—the discs were byproducts of the holed sheets of paper used as bedding for silkworms in silk production. The paper discs caught on as they were cheaper and more fun, and presumably it was less annoying to be showered with coloured paper than hit by sugared almonds.

40. Two Bouquets

Brides in Mexico sometimes carry two bouquets down the aisle at their weddings: one for themselves, and one as an offering to the Virgin Mary, so that she may bless the marriage.

39. Sawing Logs

At weddings in Germany, brides and grooms start working together before the reception is even over. Cutting a log represents overcoming the first obstacle a couple will encounter in their marriage, so using a long two-handled saw, the couple saws through a log together to demonstrate their teamwork and commitment to solving problems. Presumably the brides don’t mind getting sawdust all over the hems of their dresses.

38. Cookie Cake

Norway has its own version of the tiered wedding cake: the kransekake! A kransekake is made by stacking a series of ring shaped almond cookies, decreasing in size, to form a circular tiered pyramid of almondy goodness, traditionally decorated with icing and little Norwegian flags. The top layer is for the bride and groom and they break the other rings for their guests instead of slicing. The cookies can be stacked over a wine bottle, revealing a nice treat for guests after they devour the cookie rings.

37. Tied Together

Weddings in the Philippines unite couples both figuratively and literally. Filipino couples are draped with a cord called a yugal, which is looped around the couple to form a figure eight (or an infinity sign) symbolizing their everlasting fidelity to each other.

36. The Blackening

Brides and grooms in Scotland have it rough: their traditional way of warding off evil spirits before the big day involves being captured by family members, smeared with the stickiest foods or substances that can be found, then being paraded in front of the community or driven around in an open-backed truck while friends and family bang pots and pans. With a tradition that basically amounts to being tarred and feathered, it’s a wonder anyone in Scotland gets married at all!

35. Cupid’s Bow and Arrow

In the Yugur ethnic group in China, grooms must shoot their bride three times with a bow and arrow before they can wed—thankfully, the arrowhead is removed from the arrow before the groom takes aim. The groom then breaks the arrow in half, ensuring that the bonds of love can’t be broken.

34. Ring of Flowers

Pakistani weddings feature a very sweet-smelling tradition: the groom wears a ring of flowers around his neck during the ceremony. Before the ceremony, there are days of feasts and exchanging gifts, and after the wedding, there is an elaborate reception that can take days, wherein men and women dine in separate sections of a tent.

33. Unity Bowl

At weddings in Australia, guests may be asked to hold differently colored stones or marbles in their hands during the wedding ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, guests all place their stones in a decorative Unity Bowl, to be kept and displayed in the home of the newlywed couple—a reminder of the presence and ongoing support of their friends and family.

32. A Lot To Clean Up

German brides and grooms can expect to ring in their new marriage with a lot of sweeping: the tradition of “polterabend involves guests smashing dinnerware and crockery outside the home of the bride’s parents or of the newlywed couple on the eve of their wedding. The broken shards are supposed to bring good luck to the happy couple.

31. Breaking The Bell

It seems many traditions from around the world involve making a mess. In Guatemala, a white bell filled with rice, flour, and other grains that represent prosperity and abundance is placed at the entrance of the groom’s home. When the newlyweds enter, the groom’s mother breaks the bell to wish the couple happiness and abundance in their new life together!

30. Hide And Seek

At wedding ceremonies in Nigeria, the elder officiating the wedding sips from a glass of palm wine. He offers some wine to the bride and groom as well, but first, the bride must find the groom: he playfully hides amongst the guests

29. Jumping the Broom

During slavery, African-Americans were not permitted to legally marry, but as love sill endured, slaves came up with ways to make public declarations of their commitment to each other. One of these customs was to jump over a broom, which eventually became a de facto marriage ceremony. The practice is still found today in some communities as a tradition left over from the past. Special decoratively-carved brooms are used, and they’re often displayed in the couple’s home after the wedding.

28. Making Mischief

In India, it’s customary to remove one’s shoes before entering the mandap, or wedding tent. One playful custom involves the bride’s sisters or cousins stealing the shoes of her betrothed—he must convince them to return the shoes (or even pay a bribe) before he exits.

27. Packing On The Pounds

While American brides often diet in order to slim down for their big day, brides in Mauritania do all they can to put on weight. Obesity is seen as desirable, as it can be a sign of wealth and abundance. Women known as “fatteners” perform a practice called “leblouh,” where they force-feed young girls with rich and fatty foods in order to attract husbands.

26. Taste of Love

A wedding tradition of the Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria takes the bride and groom through a journey of the emotions they can expect to encounter in their marriage, by way of their taste buds. They taste different flavors: sour (lemon), bitter (vinegar), hot (cayenne), and sweet (honey) and demonstrate that together they will be able to get through life’s hard times and, in the end, enjoy the sweetness of marriage.

25. Lowering Expectations

Adjusting to newlywed life after the excitement of a wedding can be a difficult adjustment. In Kenya, instead of praising brides on their special day, people of the Masai tribe avoid post-wedding disappointment with a strange ritual: The bride’s father spits on her head and breasts as she leaves the village with her new husband after the ceremony.

24. Chicken Livers

Instead of holding the knife together to slice a wedding cake, couples in Chinese Inner Mongolia have a slightly less appealing tradition: killing a chick together. Before they set the date of their wedding, couples hold the same knife while they kill and gut a baby chick. They locate and inspect the liver of the chick, and if it’s healthy and in good condition, good news, they can set a date!

23. What’s She Worth?

In many parts of the world, marriage is considered a financial transaction designed to keep the bloodlines of both families going. In rural Papua New Guinea, the groom’s family negotiates a “bride price” from the bride’s family, usually paid in pigs and shells. A “lower quality” bride may only be worth a couple pigs, but a desirable bride can fetch as many as 30 pigs! Some of these pigs are then roasted and served to guests as part of the wedding feast.

22. A Good Likeness

In Puerto Rico, tiny dolls fashioned and dressed to resemble the bride are decorated with small charms. Traditionally, charms are taken off the doll and given to guests, who pin dollars onto the doll in exchange as a way to gift the newlywed couple with some money to start their life together.

21. A Gift of Geese

Korean grooms gift live geese to their mothers-in-law. These animals are believed to mate for life, and the gift symbolizes his intentions of fidelity and loyalty to his new bride. In modern times, the gift of a live goose might be more inconvenient than appreciated, so wooden geese or ducks are often exchanged instead.

20. Something’s Fishy

In Korea, after the ceremony takes place, friends of the groom bind his ankles, remove his shoes and beat the soles of his feet with dried yellow corvina fish. The practice supposedly makes the groom stronger in his marriage, however, it may make him less alluring to his bride on their wedding night.

19. Kidnapped!

While marriage by abduction (that is, kidnapping a woman and forcing her into marriage) was once an acceptable practice in Romania, today abducting the bride is a fun tradition done in jest. Brides are “kidnapped” by friends and spirited away from under the nose of the groom, where they are taken to a tourist spot until the groom agrees to pay a “ransom” for her return—often a few bottles of whiskey, a song, or a public declaration of love. According to the Daily Mail, the practice is so popular that on any given Saturday in Bucharest, up to 20 brides can be found at the Arch of Triumph accompanied by their “kidnappers.”

18. Waste Not, Want Not

Perhaps the least appetizing custom on this list belongs to France. Newlyweds are gifted a new chamber pot on their wedding night, and before they retire to bed after the wedding they must share a dish served in said chamber pot. A mixture of leftover food (and especially leftover booze) is mixed together, and the happy couple must finish the concoction before going to bed. This was originally intended to give virility and strength to the couple on their wedding night, and also to signal to everyone else that the party was over and it was time to go home. The practice has continued today, but with bananas, chocolate, and champagne mixed and served in a chamber pot, which still seems pretty unappetizing.

17. Saving It Up

It’s common to save money before a wedding, but members of the Tidong tribe of Malaysia save in more ways than one in the days leading up to a wedding. In order to ward off bad luck such as the failure of a marriage or the death of children, couples don’t go to the bathroom for three days before the wedding.

16. A Fun Guest

Weddings in Niger often feature some unusual entertainment: after the wedding tent has been purified by the slaughter of a goat under a full moon, wedding guests are entertained by a camel trained to “dance” to a drum beat.

15. A Show of Affection

How romantic! In Costa Rica, grooms will publicly serenade their brides-to-be on the night before the wedding as a demonstration of love, and to show everyone in the neighborhood their passion and commitment to their intended.

14. Glittering Gift

Grooms in Panama give a traditional gift of 13 gold coins to their brides on their wedding day. The coins will have been blessed by a priest, and represent Christ and his 12 apostles.

13. Family Lines

A fascinating practice of the Nuer tribe of Sudan has women who are unable to bear children married off as “husbands.” The wives of these couples are impregnated in secret by other men, but the barren woman is regarded as the legitimate father of the child, and her father’s family line is able to continue.

12. Cry Me A River

Weddings often elicit tears of joy, and in Sichuan, China, brides are well-prepared. One month before the wedding day, brides begin a practice of crying for one hour per day. Ten days into the ritual, her mother joins her, and her grandmother joins ten days after that. The practice was originally inspired by the story of a noblewoman who cried profusely at her daughter’s wedding.

11. The Money Dance

A tradition shared by Latin America and Poland allows guests a chance to dance with the bride—for a price! Guests pay to dance with the bride, and the money is collected by the maid of honor and is used to pay for the couple’s honeymoon.

10. Sneaking Out

Newlyweds in Venezuela are forgiven if they can’t wait to sneak out of their reception for some time together—it’s actually considered good luck. Good luck supposedly comes to the first person to notice the couple is missing, and good luck comes to the bride and groom themselves if they don’t get caught!

9. Dry Run

Brides and grooms in India who are considered “manglik,” that is having a specific astrological combination of Mars and Saturn, are considered unlucky to wed. To remove this special energy, they engage in a ceremony known as “kumbh viva” in which they marry a banana tree, a silver or gold idol of the god Vishnu, or a pot. After the ceremony, the tree is destroyed (or the pot is thrown into the river) and the cursed energy is thought to be removed, and the manglik people can marry normally.

8. Plant One On

Swedish brides can expect to leave her wedding reception with very chapped lips: Each time the groom leaves the room, all the men at the reception are permitted to kiss the bride as much as they want. And as is common at North American ceremonies, if someone starts clinking or banging their glass with cutlery, the guests join in until the bride and groom share a kiss.

7. Ringing it In Early

Couples in Chile don’t wait for the wedding to start wearing their wedding bands. They start wearing their rings upon their engagement, and at the wedding, the rings are switched from their right to left hands to signify their marriage.

6. Keeping It Simple

Couples at traditional Jewish weddings stand under an arched canopy called a chuppah. No jewelry is worn under the chuppah by either party, as it could lead to an excessive focus on material possessions.

5. Painted Ladies

In India, brides and members of the bridal party have their hands and feet painted with henna in elaborate designs known as mendhi. The designs take hours to apply and dry, so “mendhi parties” are often a fun way for the bridal party to spend time together and bond before the wedding. The mendhi designs last several weeks after the ceremony.

4. Smelling Sweet

Swedish brides wear crowns of myrtle blossoms, signifying purity, fidelity, virginity and good luck. Myrtle is also a common bloom used in wedding bouquets all over the United Kingdom, beginning with Queen Victoria’s daughter carrying a bouquet of myrtle at her royal wedding in 1858.

3. Growing Love

Planting trees is an important wedding ritual in Europe. In Germany, a group of trees is planted upon the birth of a little girl, so that by the time she is ready to wed the trees are full-grown and can be sold for timber to help pay for the wedding. In the Czech Republic, a tree is planted at the time of a wedding and then decorated with colored string and painted eggshells; according to legend, the bride will live as long as the tree.

2. Horns of Jealousy

Many brides dream of wearing white on their special day, but in Japan, brides take it even further. In ceremonies held in traditional Shinto shrines, brides are painted pure white from head to toe and don white kimonos and elaborate white headpieces. The white hood is intended to hide her “horns of jealousy” and display her wish to become an obedient, gentle, and devoted wife to her husband.

1. Trying It All

One happy couple wasn’t content with just one wedding, they wanted to try them all! The couple behind the “2 People 1 Life” wedding blog spent five years traveling the globe, getting married according to local customs in over 71 ceremonies in 65 different countries on five different continents. They’re now working as global wedding consultants, helping couples bring a bit of exotic flair to their own ceremony.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

Summertime is packed with weddings (June and October are the most common months to tie the knot.) But as you celebrate your friends and family, or walk the aisle yourself, know that American unions are changing.

1. Fewer Americans are getting married.

We’ll be hearing less wedding bells. The marriage rate in America has plummeted — today, only about 50% of Americans will marry. In contrast, 72% of Americans tied the knot in 1960.

2. Which is a bummer, since marriage has a lot of benefits.

Marriage may not necessarily make you happier. But married adults do live longer and have higher incomes, and not simply because two incomes mean more money. (Married men make, on average, as much as $18,800 a year more than their unmarried counterparts, according to an American Enterprise Institute study.) It also helps children: Kids in intact families have better educational opportunities and economic well-being. They also have better physical and emotional health.

3. It takes couples longer to get married.

Several studies show that most couples wait, on average, just under three years from the time they start dating to get married. And the average engagement? 14 months.

4. But when they do, they’re less likely to divorce.

The 50% stat is a thing of the past: Divorce rates have actually fallen since the 1980s. For marriages that started in the ’90s, 70% will last at least 15 years, and that’s up from 65% in the ’70s and ’80s.

5. The cost of saying “I do” is at an all-time high.

An average wedding costs $31,213, according to The Knot’s 2014 Real Weddings survey. And that doesn’t even include the cost of the honeymoon. In 1996, for comparison, it was $15,208.

6. People want to get married, they’re just waiting longer.

The median age for a first marriage is up to 27 for women and 29 for men (up from 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960). Half of today’s 25 to 34 year olds have never married (that was a mere 12% in 1960). But they’re not opposed to it: According to Pew Research only 4% of this group say they never want to marry. And marrying a little older is a great idea for college-educated women, who make 56% more annually if they wait a bit. Boom.

7. We can thank the Internet.

They’re still the vast minority, but more couples are meeting online — according to Pew statistics, 5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online. (And one-in-ten Americans overall use dating sites to find love.)

8. Interracial and intercultural unions are a small — but growing — percentage.

More than 5.3 million marriages in the U.S. are between husbands and wives of different races or ethnicities. That’s one-in-ten marriages among opposite-sex couples, according to the 2010 Census (up 28% from 2000). And 87% of Americans now favor marriage between blacks and whites, up from 4% in 1958.

9. So are the number of same-sex marriages.

There are an estimated 252,000 same-sex married couples in the U.S. That’s up 35% from last year, but still only less than half a percent of the 56 million total. (The Census Bureau tracked gay marriage for the first time ever last year.) Support for gay marriage has increased dramatically, too. Not surprisingly, millennials are more likely (68%) than their parents (48% of baby boomers) to be in favor of it.

10. When couples split, they’re likely to walk down the aisle again.

Of all weddings today, 40% involve someone who has been previously married. And many of those couples bring kids into the new marriage: 16% of children live with a stepparent, step-sibling, or half sibling.

11. One in four couples don’t sleep in the same bed.

Yup. It’s not just something your grandparents or European monarchs did. Many married Americans (at least 23%) report that, as a result of a sleep problem, they or their partner sleep in a separate bed, bedroom, or on the couch. And a separate study said that figure may even be higher, as many as 30 to 40% of couples. Moral of the story: Snoring doesn’t have to be a relationship killer.

12. Still, only a few are in sexless marriages.

Sure, sex, or the lack thereof, has been talked about a lot. A 1994 study famously found that more than 1% of married men and 2.6% of married women hadn’t had sex in a year. But by 2014, those figures had jumped to nearly 5% of men and 6.5% of women. But not to worry: Several studies show that most married couples have sex a little more often than once a week.

13. Couples are sharing the load.

A 2007 Pew poll found that sharing household chores was the third most important factor for a happy marriage (only fidelity and a good sex life ranked higher). But how does that balance out? When hours spent on paid work, child care, and housework are combined, parents in dual-income households have a more equal division of labor than parents in single-earner households.

Asher Fogle Writer When she’s not hunting for compelling personal stories or justifying her love for dessert, Asher can likely be found watching early-2000s TV on Netflix with her husband.

Why are fewer people getting married?

Maybe we should just live together… Rejected proposal via

June kicks off the U.S. wedding season. Whether you love nuptials or hate them, an astounding trend is occuring: fewer couples are tying the knot.

The number of U.S. marriage ceremonies peaked in the early 1980s, when almost 2.5 million marriages were recorded each year. Since then, however, the total number of people getting married has fallen steadily. Now only about two million marriages happen a year, a drop of almost half a million from their peak.

As a result, barely more than half of adults in the U.S. say they’re living with a spouse. It is the lowest share on record, and down from 70 percent in 1967.

What’s behind this trend? Is marriage becoming obsolete? Why should we care?

Marriage rates are dropping too

The drop in marriages is even more dramatic when the rapid growth in the U.S. population is taken into account. In fact, the marriage rate is the lowest in at least 150 years.

The figure below shows the number of marriages per 1,000 people for the last century and a half. It does not matter if it is a person’s first, second or even third marriage. The rate simply tracks the number of weddings that occurred adjusted by the population.

In the late 1800s, about nine out of every 1,000 people got married each year. After rising in the early 1900s through World War I, the marriage rate plummeted during the Great Depression, when fewer people were able to afford starting a family. The rate shot up again at the end of World War II as servicemen returned home, eager to get hitched and have babies.

But since the early 1980s, the marriage rate has steadily dropped until it leveled off in 2009 at about seven per 1,000.

A global trend

It’s not just the U.S. where this is happening.

The United Nations gathered data for roughly 100 countries, showing how marriage rates changed from 1970 to 2005. Marriage rates fell in four-fifths of them.

Australia’s marriage rate, for example, fell from 9.3 marriages per 1,000 people in 1970 to 5.6 in 2005. Egypt’s declined from 9.3 to 7.2. In Poland, it dropped from 8.6 to 6.5.

The drop occurred in all types of countries, poor and rich. And it clearly wasn’t based on geography, since one of the biggest declines occurred in Cuba (13.4 to 5), while one of the biggest increases occurred in the neighboring island of Jamaica (4.9 to 8.7).

Among countries that experienced a reduction, the average rate fell from 8.2 marriages per 1,000 to just 5.2, which is an even lower rate than what the U.S. is now experiencing.

Why has the drop occurred?

The range of culprits is quite large.

Some blame widening U.S. income and wealth inequality. Others point the finger at the fall in religious adherence or cite the increase in education and income of women, making women choosier about whom to marry. Still others focus on rising student debt and rising housing costs, forcing people to put off marriage. Finally some believe marriage is simply an old, outdated tradition that is no longer necessary.

But given that this is a trend happening across the globe in a wide variety of countries with very different income, religious adherence, education and social factors, it’s hard to pin the blame on just a single culprit.

Don’t blame the government

Moreover, this drop in marriages is not occurring because of adverse legal or public policy changes. Governments across the globe continue to provide incentives and legal protections that encourage marriage.

For example, the U.S. federal government has over 1,000 laws that make special adjustments based on marital status. Many of these adjustments allow married couples to get preferential tax treatment and more retirement benefits, and bypass inheritance laws.

Moreover, government legalization of same-sex marriages around the world has boosted the number of individuals able to enter into legally sanctioned unions.

While legalizing same-sex marriages has boosted the number of marriages, this increase has not been enough to reverse the declining trend.

Is it a switch to cohabiting?

Another popular explanation for why fewer people are getting married is that more couples prefer to live together informally, known as cohabitation.

It is true that the percentage of people living with a partner instead of marrying has risen over time. In 1970 just half-of-one-percent of all adults were cohabiting in the U.S. Today the figure is 7.5 percent.

However, this trend fails to explain the whole story of falling marriage rates. Even when we combine the share of adults who are married with those who are cohabiting, the picture still reveals a strong downward trend. In the late 1960s, over 70 percent of all U.S. adults were either married or cohabiting. The most recent data show less than 60 percent of adults are living together in either a marriage or cohabiting relationship.

This means over time, a smaller percentage of people are living as a couple. The number of people living alone, without a spouse, partner, children or roommates has almost doubled. The number of people living by themselves in the U.S. was less than 8 percent in the late 1960s. Today’s it’s almost 15 percent.

Costs and benefits of marriage

So why have marriage rates declined around the world, while the number of people living on their own has exploded? In my mind, the simple answer is that for more people, the current costs of marriage outweigh the benefits.

The benefits of marriage are numerous and well-known. Researchers have linked marriage to better outcomes for children, less crime, an increase in longevity and happier lives, among many factors. My own research revealed that marriage is associated with more wealth.

Nevertheless, as Gary Becker pointed out in his widely used theory of marriage, these benefits don’t come for free. Marriage is hard work. Living with someone means taking into account another person’s feelings, moods, needs and desires instead of focusing just on your own. This extra work has large time, emotional and financial costs.

While decades ago many people believed the benefits of marriage outweighed these costs, the data around the world are clearly showing that more people are viewing the benefits of being married, or even cohabiting, as much smaller than the costs.

Why do we care?

As the wedding season takes hold, I have already been invited to a few nuptials, so it is clear marriage is not actually becoming obsolete.

Society today is geared toward couples. However, if the trends continue, then the growing number of single people will presumably begin to exert political pressure to eliminate the laws that favor and reward marriage and implicitly discriminate against them.

The question is: how large will this policy shift be and how soon until it occurs?

Jay L. Zagorsky, Economist and Research Scientist, The Ohio State University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.