Amidst the Sturm und Drang of spring 2020, two items in the news went largely unnoticed and unremarked upon. Both the marriage rate and the fertility rate in the United States hit record lows in, respectively, 2018 and 2019, the most recent years for which we have data on these two trends. The financial fallout of the 2020 pandemic recession will undoubtedly worsen these statistics. That’s because young men and women will be reluctant, in the face of so much economic uncertainty, to move forward with plans for marrying or having children.
We should be concerned about the falling fortunes of the family in this nation because, as Thomas Klingenstein has noted, such a downfall poses a very real threat to the health of the American way of life.
Consider three key elements of our way of life: economic opportunity, “the pursuit of happiness,” and respect for the rule of law. The science tells us that the number one predictor of economic mobility for poor kids in America is the share of two-parent families in their neighborhood. Marriage is one of the best predictors of happiness for adult men and women. And the rule of law is strongest in communities where stable married families dominate the local landscape.
Continue reading at The American Mind . . . .