The Pew Internet Project’s fall 2005 Online Dating survey tried to get a sense of the general state of household partnerships in America. The table below shows the breakdown. These data mostly line up with findings of the U.S. Census Bureau from a 50,000-household survey in 2001.
In general, marriage patterns have ebbed and flowed over time. Census data show fairly consistent patterns throughout the first half of the 20th century with a swing toward marriage in the 1950s and 1960s. Marriage rates then receded as the ranks of both the widowed and the never-married increased.
In our sample, 56% of American adults over 18 are married or living as married, while 43% of adults are not married. That 43% includes 11% who are divorced, 2% who are separated, 9% who are widowed, and 21% who have never been married.
Looking at basic demographic variations, our survey showed that those with college degrees and higher levels of household income are significantly more likely to be married than those with high school diplomas and those living in households with more modest levels of income. African-Americans are more likely than whites and English-speaking Hispanics to have never been married.