There’s little doubt that marriage as an institution has been in steady decline over recent decades. Regardless of whether or not you believe in the benefits of marriage, the stability of a two-parent household that marriage provides has an enormous impact on the welfare of children. “I don’t think people would worry about the decline of marriage if it wasn’t for the effect on kids,” says Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution. “All the research shows that there’s tremendous turmoil in the lives of children born out of wedlock.” (Foroohar, 2012) With that in mind, here are some facts and statistics about marriage in America:

Marriage fact #1:
Instability in marriages

A child born to unmarried cohabiting parents in Sweden has a better chance of living with both parents at age 16 than a kid born to married parents in the United States. (Sandler, 2011)

Marriage fact #2:
The U.S. leads in divorce rates

The United States’ divorce rates are the highest in the Western world. (Sandler, 2011)

Marriage statistic #3:
Marital unhappiness is increasing

The percentage of Americans unhappy in their marriages is a full 10 points higher today than it was in polls 30-some years ago. (Sandler, 2011)