- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Whether you’re conservative or liberal, if you want to know what the state of the American family is these days, look no further.

It doesn’t matter if you’re more familiar with the Liz Taylor and Richard Burton types who remarry each other or all-too acquainted with those who were disenchanted the first time around or with those who were widowed, a new federal survey shows that mouthing the words “I do” proves Americans are still the marrying kind.

So it goes in the U.S., where, according to 2008-12 statistics from the annual American Community Survey:

• An estimated 125.5 million American adults (52.3 percent) have married at least once.

• An estimated 32.3 million adults (13.5 percent) have married twice.

• An estimated 8.6 million (3.6 percent) have married three or more times.

In other words, Americans are saying “I do, I do, I do.”

While the numbers released Tuesday don’t delve into the weeds of what dynamics traditional and same-sex marriage played in those scenarios, the Census and CDC did sharpen the family picture for us.

Northerners and Midwesterners tend to have fewer adults who said they tied the knot more than once, and the Census said that Southerners and Westerners had more residents who had remarried.

Meanwhile, information from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers further insight into Americans’ take on family: More cohabitation among parents is at a record high — although the parents are not married.

As for the the Americans who living together without benefit of marriage, take a look at these tidy facts.

* In 2002, only 14.3 percent of women 15-44 were cohabitating when their children were born but in 2011-2013, that percentage had jumped to 25.9 percent.

* The percentage of married couples with children moved in the opposite direction. In 2002, 64.4percent of married couples were living together, and in 2011-2013 the percentage was on 56.1 percent.

While love, marriage and baby carriage may have led to divorce, and another “I do,” there’s always the financial conundrum of yours, mine and ours when it comes to the offspring.

“There’s just a lot of complexity and instability in these households,” Sara McLanahan, a sociology professor at Princeton University, told the Wall Street Journal. “There are enormous transaction costs involved in running a household like this, compared to just being a married-parent family and staying married.”

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