- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - New census data show Minnesota will soon have fewer than half of its adults in a marriage.

The data from the U.S. Census Bureau was released Thursday. Minnesota’s marriage rate was 50.5 percent in 2014, down from 53 percent in 2005.

If the state’s marriage rate continues falling at the same rate it has been lately, it would dip below 50 percent next year. It would be a historic turning point for Minnesota, which has had one of the nation’s highest marriage rates, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1IG2EyW ) reports.

The U.S. marriage rate dropped below 50 percent just after the turn of the century.

State demographer Susan Brower said the marriage rate drop has “nothing to do with the institution of marriage,” but rather it’s “an age thing,” including there being more seniors, who are more likely to be widowed. She said 90 percent of Americans marry by age 45.

Population Reference Bureau demographer Mark Mather said young adults with college degrees are delaying marriage, but they’re staying married.

“Among those who don’t have degrees, we’re seeing big declines in both getting married and staying married,” Mather said. “It’s a pretty big trend, this marriage gap.”

Minnesota cities with the highest married rates tend to be fairly well-to-do suburbs and exurbs. Scott County’s Elko New Market had the state’s highest marriage rate in cities above 2,500 in population at 78 percent, followed by Carver, Deephaven, North Oaks and Victoria.

The lowest rates in Minnesota tend to be in college towns or major urban centers. Minneapolis’ marriage rate was 33 percent, with St. Paul at 38 percent and Duluth at 39 percent.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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