The table above shows the trends in marriage and divorce rates in the US per 1000 people. It clearly shows that marriage rates have gone up and down cyclically while the divorce rates have shown a steady increase.
Data in the 60’s show that while divorce rate was 2.5 per thousand, in the 80’s it shot up to 5.2 per 1000. (Friedberg Leora & Stern Steven, 2003) This has now come down and in 2005 it showed 3.6 divorces per thousand people. Data also reveals that in 1880, 75% of married people stayed together with their children which reduced to 41% in 2005. ( Wolfers Justin & Stevenson Betsey, 2007)1 However, the graph does not provide an accurate analysis of the current marriage rate since there has been a significant percentage of live-in relationships that have increased over the past decade.
Marriages, unlike live-in relationships, have a contractual obligation that is rendered to the husband and wife by the state or by the priest who is presiding over the occasion. While some marriage functions have limited obligations that are spelled out by the priest, there are others that might require the couple to state what would be their conduct towards each other. Just like a contract, other terms would include how the money would be inherited to either couple in the event of a death or divorce and how much financial support would be provided if there is a child involved. (Dnes Antony & Rowthorn Robert, 2002) Just like in economics, where money plays an important role in making decisions, there are traditions in the Hindu culture of India that promote taking of dowry or the wealth that the bride would bring along when she would be legally wedded to the husband.