Economic hardships among young men create barriers to marriage, the study says. High school-educated men between 25 and 34 earned less money in 2008, about $32,000 a year on average, a 12 percent decline from $36,300 in 1990. Meanwhile, earnings for college-educated men in the same group rose 5 percent to $55,000 in 2008, up from $52,300 in 1990. (These median annual earnings were adjusted for inflation.)
The declining fortunes can be a detriment to marriage prospects, Fry tells CNN, "because many people are seeking partners who can provide for a family and who are economically stable. "
During the same time period, unmarried couples living together has doubled and has consequently become a more acceptable alternative to marriage, Fry tells the network. Half of those living together are under 35, and more than 80 percent lack a college degree, the study says, citing census data.
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