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Where Have All the Marrieds Gone?

"Watch the changing attitudes toward marriage," contributing editor Lyle Schaller alerted us. "That's the next big issue for the church." Three reports over the next three weeks confirmed why he's the guru of church culture.

The next big issue, it appears, is not the role of women in the church or homosexuality; it's the growing aversion to marriage itself and the corresponding acceptance of cohabitation, sex included, by evangelicals.

The statistics: New analysis of census data confirms a major trend, the decline of the two-parent family and a sharp increase in unmarried couples and people living alone.

» In the year 2000, there were 54.5 million married-couple households, 52 percent of the nation's 105.5 million households. That means 48 percent of all adult householders are unmarried. Ten years ago, married couples constituted 55 percent of households.

» Unmarried partner households are up 72 percent to 5.5 million, 7 percent of all adults.

» Single-mom households total 7.5 million, 9 percent ...

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