It is what you would expect — research showing that religious people are more likely to marry than merely cohabit with a partner — but helpful to see the figures.

The US National Centre for Health Statistics analysed data on men and women aged 15 to 44 collected in 2002. Overall, 42 per cent of men and 46 per cent of women were married, and about 9 per cent of both were living together, unmarried, in a sexual relationship, reports New York Times.

Black Americans had much lower rates of marriage than whites or Hispanics. But that seems to have more to do with education — and employment — than religion.

The higher the level of education, the more likely people were to wed, and the less likely they were to live together. More than 60 per cent of people with a college degree or higher were married.

Religion was only slightly less significant:

Among white men, 55 per cent of those who said religion was “very important” were married, compared with 35 per cent of those for whom it was “not important.”

There is quite a lot more in this report. We will do another post on what things make marriages last.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet