Welcome!

News Feed Item

The State of Marriage in the U.S. - It is Very Important to Half of Americans

But, two in five Americans do not feel marriage is necessary

NEW YORK, April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As The Beatles sang, "All you need is love" – but do you need marriage? How important is the institution of marriage in today's modern society? Pretty important, as seven in ten U.S. adults (71%) say marriage is important to Americans in general, with over one-quarter (28%) saying it is very important. When it comes to them personally, three-quarters of Americans (75%) say marriage is important, with half (50%) saying it is very important. And, while one might think that men and women have different answers on this, they are not as different as one might think – as just over half of women (54%) say marriage is very important to them personally and just under half of men (45%) say the same.

Harris Poll Logo

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,266 adults surveyed online between February 12 and 17, 2014. (Full results, including data tables, can be found here)

"Marriage is what brings us together today, that blessed arrangement, that dream within a dream." – The Impressive Clergyman, The Princess Bride
While marriage may still be important, the idea of marriage has gone through some changes over the decades. Almost three-quarters of Americans (72%) say, when compared to previous generations, the idea of marriage today is less important than it was; one in five (20%) say it is just as important and only 4% believe it is more important today. And this attitude is consistent across the generations. Seven in ten of both Millennials (71%) and Gen Xers (71%), 72% of Baby Boomers and three-quarters (75%) of Matures all say the idea of marriage is less important today when compared to previous generations.

But, when asked to think back to the TV sitcoms from the 1950s and 1960s, with the father heading to work and providing for the family while the mother stayed home, took care of the kids and had dinner ready every night, seven in ten Americans (69%) do not think this is how families should look today while three in ten (31%) believe it is. Here, however, there is a generational difference. Matures are divided, with just under half (46%) saying this is how families should look and 54% saying it is not. Three-quarters of Millennials (74%), on the other hand, say it is not how families should look, as do 72% of Gen Xers and 69% of Baby Boomers.

"When a match has equal partners, then I fear not." – Aeschylus
As women's rights changed across the centuries so did the dynamic of a marriage and four in five Americans (82%) agree that in a marriage, men and women are equal in every way, with half (51%) strongly agreeing. In fact, just 16% of Americans agree that to make a marriage work, one partner needs to be dominant.

"Marriage is a fine institution, but I'm not ready for an institution." – Mae West
But marriage may not be for everyone. In fact, two in five U.S. adults (39%) agree that marriage is not necessary. More than two in five men agree with this, compared to just over one-third of women (43% compared to 36%). And, setting the stage for the future of marriage, there is a generational divide. Just one in five Matures (19%) agree that marriage is not necessary, compared to over half of Millennials (54%).

"A family is a unit comprised not only of children, but of men, women, an occasional animal and the common cold." – Ogden Nash
In most marriages, at some point down the road (or occasionally before the vows are even taken) there is a child that causes the couple to become a family. And, while unfortunately not every marriage works, two-thirds of Americans (67%) agree that children need to be brought up in a family where the parents are married, with one-third strongly agreeing (34%) and one-third somewhat agreeing (33%). There is a large generational divide on this, as over four in five Matures (86%) agree compared to three in five Millennials (60%).

There is also the issue of staying at home with the children or not, and over half of U.S. adults (57%) agree that children should ideally be raised in a household with a stay at home parent, while 43% disagree with this notion. There is a greater agreement about one factor of the stay at home parent – over four in five (83%) agree that in households with a stay at home parent, it is not important whether it is the mother or the father; 45% strongly agree.

"To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take." – Madeleine L'Engle
For some, before marrying there may be co-habitation. Over half of Americans (57%) agree that couples should live together before getting married while 43% disagree. Again there are some generational gaps on this idea, as just one-third of Matures (32%) agree that couples should live together first, compared to about two-thirds of Gen Xers (65%) and Millennials (68%).  There is also a gender gap, as two-thirds of men (65%) agree that couples should live together, compared to just half of women (50%).

And, marriage is not for only men and women, but also for same sex couples – depending on who you ask. Americans are truly divided on this, as just over half (51%) do not believe that the term marriage should only apply to a man and a woman, while just under half (49%) agree that it should. Once again, the generations think differently, as two-thirds of Matures (68%) agree that the term should only apply to a man and a woman, compared to less than two in five Millennials (38%).

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 12 and 17, 2014 among 2,266 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #36, April 14, 2014
By Regina A. Corso, VP, The Harris Poll and Public Relations Research

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll
212-539-9600
[email protected]

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO

SOURCE The Harris Poll

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Today, we have more data to manage than ever. We also have better algorithms that help us access our data faster. Cloud is the driving force behind many of the data warehouse advancements we have enjoyed in recent years. But what are the best practices for storing data in the cloud for machine learning and data science applications?
As Enterprise business moves from Monoliths to Microservices, adoption and successful implementations of Microservices become more evident. The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Documenting hurdles and problems for the use of Microservices will help consultants, architects and specialists to avoid repeating the same mistakes and learn how and when to use (or not use) Microservices at the enterprise level. The circumstance w...
"Avere Systems deals with data performance optimization in the cloud or on-premise. Even to this day many organizations struggle with what we call the problem of data gravity - 'Where should I put the data?' - because the data dictates ultimately where the jobs are going to run," explained Scott Jeschonek, Director Cloud Solutions at Avere Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO "Early Bird Registration" is now open. Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
For years the world's most security-focused and distributed organizations - banks, military/defense agencies, global enterprises - have sought to adopt cloud technologies that can reduce costs, future-proof against data growth, and improve user productivity. The challenges of cloud transformation for these kinds of secure organizations have centered around data security, migration from legacy systems, and performance. In our presentation, we will discuss the notion that cloud computing, properl...
"We began as LinuxAcademy.com about five years ago as a very small outfit. Since then we've transitioned into more of a DevOps training company - the technologies and the tooling around DevOps," explained Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
They say multi-cloud is coming, but organizations are leveraging multiple clouds already. According to a study by 451 Research, only 21% of organizations were using a single cloud. If you've found yourself unprepared for the barrage of cloud services introduced in your organization, you will need to change your approach to engaging with the business and engaging with vendors. Look at technologies that are on the way and work with the internal players involved to have a plan in place when the ine...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes how...
DevOps with IBMz? You heard right. Maybe you're wondering what a developer can do to speed up the entire development cycle--coding, testing, source code management, and deployment-? In this session you will learn about how to integrate z application assets into a DevOps pipeline using familiar tools like Jenkins and UrbanCode Deploy, plus z/OSMF workflows, all of which can increase deployment speeds while simultaneously improving reliability. You will also learn how to provision mainframe syste...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.