- The marriage rate continues its decades-long decline. From 2002 to 2012, it fell by more than 9 marriages per 1,000 unmarried women age 15 and older. “Just as no-fault divorce altered the institution of marriage, … altering the very heart of the sexual structure of marriage is shaking the marriage ecosystem,” explains Mark Regnerus.
- More than one in four children currently live in single-parent households. Martin Brown notes what this means for America: “In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan documented the increase in the number of single-parent households among blacks, and he appropriately sounded the alarm about the increasing breakdown of the black family. Today, this alarm should sound for the entire nation”.
- The abortion rate declined to pre-Roe v. Wade levels in 2011, the most recent year for which published data are available. Charmaine Yoest explains the scientific and legal advances that have brought about what she describes as a “seismic shift” over the past several decades.
- From 2004 to 2014, the percentage of volunteers in America declined by 3.5 percentage points to 25.3 percent. Despite the “exceptional endeavors” by some caring Americans, Marvin Olasky laments that the “distinctive character of America’s volunteer effort that de Tocqueville witnessed almost two centuries ago is much more difficult to discern today”.
- Marriage Rate
With commentary by Mark Regenerus: “The Erosion of the Marriage Ecosystem”
- Divorce Rate
With commentary by Patrick F. Fagan: “With an Eye on the Children: The Effects of Divorce on Society”
- Total Fertility Rate
- Single-Parent Households
With commentary by Martin D. Brown: “Why Single-Parent Households Matter Even More Today”
- Teen Drug Use
- Abstinence Among High Schoolers
With commentary by Valerie Huber: “Empowering Young People’s Decisions, for Their Future — and Ours”
- Abortion Rate & Total Abortions
With commentary by Charmaine Yoest: “How Science, State Laws, and Exposure Are Driving the Pro-Life Comeback”
- Religious Attendance
With commentary by Marvin Olasky: “Volunteering: A Fraying Bond in American Society”
- Violent Crime Rate
Next Up in the Index:
2015 Index of Culture and Opportunity
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