Lots of recent research has shown that the country’s relationship with marriage is changing. Americans are getting married later, having fewer kids and generally rethinking what a healthy relationship looks like.
Amid all these shifts, religion’s role in family life is also in flux. Single people are now less likely to prioritize finding a partner of the same faith and families are less likely to build their social lives around a religious community.
“Couples are eschewing religious wedding ceremonies that connect them to existing traditions and communities, preferring instead celebrations that reflect their own personal tastes and preferences. The primacy of individual preferences also manifests itself in family life,” explains the American National Family Life Survey, which was released last week.
Although that survey did not focus on religion, it contained a number of fascinating faith-related gems. Here are a few additional data points that jumped out at me:
People of faith are more supportive of marriage than religious “nones”
More than one-third of religiously unaffiliated adults (36%) believe marriage is an outmoded institution. By comparison, people of faith are much more supportive, researchers noted.
Additionally, Christian singles are more interested in getting marriage in the future than nonreligious singles. “Only half (50%) of religiously unaffiliated singles report being interested in getting married someday, compared to two-thirds (66%) of Christian singles,” the survey reported.
Interfaith marriages are becoming much more common
Over the past 50 years, the likelihood of marrying someone who shares your religious affiliation has dropped substantially.
Today, around 6 in 10 married Americans are in a same-faith marriage. That figure used to hover around 80%, researchers noted.
Latter-day Saints still prioritize same-faith marriage
Even as interfaith marriage has become more common, some religious communities have continued to promote marrying within the faith.
Today, nearly 9 in 10 married members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints report that their spouse is also a Latter-day Saint. The rates of same-faith marriage among Catholics (65%) and Jews (59%) are also high, but Latter-day Saints take the cake.