State of Our Unions

The State of Our Unions monitors the current health of marriage and family life in America. Produced annually, it is a joint publication of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values.

2010 Version of unions pdf in its entiretyPDF of entire 2010 Unions

EDITOR W. Bradford Wilcox
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Elizabeth Marquardt
FOUNDING CO-EDITORS David Popenoe & Barbara Dafoe Whitehead



Executive Summary
W. Bradford Wilcox & Elizabeth Marquardt

New data indicate that trends in nonmarital childbearing, divorce, and marital quality in Middle America increasingly resemble those of the poor, where marriage is fragile and weak. Yet among the highly educated and affluent, marriage is stable and appears to be getting even stronger.

When Marriage Disappears: The Retreat from Marriage in Middle America
W. Bradford Wilcox

“When Marriage Disappears,” by W. Bradford Wilcox, editor of The State of Our Unions and associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, addresses the causes of the retreat from marriage in Middle America. Wilcox finds that shifts in marriage attitudes, increases in unemployment, and declines in religious attendance are among the trends driving this retreat. Meanwhile, in a striking reversal of historic trends, highly educated Americans are moving to embrace a pro-marriage mindset even as Middle Americans are losing ground when it comes to marriage.

Social Indicators of
Marital Health and Wellbeing: