Minnesota will soon have more unmarried residents than it has married, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Its American Community Survey shows that as of the end of 2014, Minnesota had a marriage rate of 50.5 percent, down from 53 percent in 2005 – though it is still one of the higher states in the nation, where the average has dropped below 50.
The reason for this? According to the Star Tribune it's not to do with "the rejection of marriage," but rather because of a combination of economics, changing lifestyles and an aging population.
State demographer Susan Brower told the newspaper: "Ninety percent of Americans marry by age 45. It’s nothing to do with the institution of marriage. It’s an age thing, including the growth in seniors, who are likelier to be widowed."
The newspaper says the places in Minnesota with the most married people are the cities of Elko New Market, Carver, and Deephaven, and places with the fewest tend to be college towns like Bemidji and Winona.
Minneapolis's rate is a very low 33 percent.
Careers, unemployment cause delays
With the ratio due to move in favor of the unmarried next year, KSTP reports that other factors affecting marriage numbers include more women putting their careers before marriage, as well as there being fewer job opportunities for younger men that leads them to delay getting hitched for financial reasons.
"I think it's alarming," Steven Ruggles, of the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota told the TV station, "because the reason why marriage is disappearing is because there's a whole bunch of young people out there who don't have a job or who are in prison, or have a job and it's a terrible job and the opportunities just aren't there for them."
According to MPR, there are also differences between those with higher levels of education and those without.
Population Reference Bureau demographer Mark Mather told the news organization that younger people with college degrees are certainly delaying marriage, but once they do get married, they tend to stay married.
Those without, however, are not getting married as much as seen previously, and are less likely to stay married.