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Economy’s Impact on the Decision to Get Married

I just read an article that stated some pretty startling facts. We all know that the economy affects us all, and if you ask any wedding professional out there they will tell you that the recession has impacted our business everywhere from slight to significant ways. Personally, I have seen a steady shift in the approach that couples are taking with their weddings, from extending their engagement to drastically cutting the guest list. But here are some of the statistics that were listed in the article that I was a bit surprised by —

According to the latest Pew survey and census data:

  • 18 million Americans between the age of 18 to 34 live at home with their parents. That’s roughly 30% of that age group. This number is up by 2 million – or 3% – from just 4 years ago.
  • Among Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 less than half – just 46% – are employed. This is the smallest share since the government starting collecting this data in 1948.
  • A record high of 11.5 million Americans between 18 and 24 – nearly 40% – attended college in October 2008.
  • 15% of Americans aged 18 to 34 said they postponed getting married due to the downturn in the economy. That number increases to 21% for those aged 25 to 34, the age range when people tend to get married.

Those are huge numbers, not only affecting the state of the wedding industry but impacting the course of our society as a whole. Many young Americans are staying home and living with their parents in order to go to school and further their education. Students in college tend to wait to make major life decisions like marriage and family until they have completed their studies, gotten a solid job, and are financially able to settle down. And so the work force changes, social behaviors like marriage and child bearing changes, and the effects of these shifts ripple on and on.

So my real question is – How is the economy affecting you? As a bride or groom? As a wedding professional? Are you feeling it, making adjustments to adapt? Or is it not a big deal? I’d love to hear your thoughts….

To read the full survey… http://pewsocialtrends.org/pubs/748/recession-brings-many-young-adults-back-to-the-nest

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