A Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data finds 72 percent of all adults ages 18 and older were married in 1960, with 15 percent never married. Today, 51 percent are married and 28 percent never married.
The analysis finds the median age at first marriage has never been higher for brides -- 26.5 years -- and grooms -- 28.7.
"If current trends continue, the share of adults who are currently married will drop to below half within a few years," the Pew report said. "Other adult living arrangements -- including cohabitation, single-person households and single parenthood -- have all grown more prevalent in recent decades."
The analysis finds the number of new marriages in the United States declined by 5 percent from 2009 and 2010, a sharp one-year drop that may or may not be related to the sour economy.
The report, written by D'Vera Cohn and by Wendy Wang, said the drop in the number of newly married adults -- from 4.4 million in 2009 to 4.2 million in 2010 -- was shared among all age groups, but was especially sharp for adults ages 18-24, falling 13 percent from 2009 to 2010.