The 1960 Census showed a record proportion married, 67.4 percent, among persons 14 years old and over. The corresponding figure for 1950 was 66.6 percent and that for 1940 was 59.6 percent. These findings reflect a gradually rising proportion of married couples who survive jointly to old age, very high marriage rates during the latter part of the 1940's, and moderately high marriage rates during most of the 1950's.
The number of persons 14 years old and over who were single increased by about 2 million between 1950 and 1960, or by 7.0 percent; during the same period, the number of persons who were married but separated from their spouses increased by 189,000, or 9.3 percent, and the number of widowed persons, by 12.7 percent. The marital status group, which apparently experienced the greatest change during the past decade, was divorced persons; the 1960 Census showed 28.3 percent more divorced per sons than the 1950 Census.
The proportion of persons 14 years old and over who were married was about the same in each of the regions and was only slightly higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but it was substantially higher for white persons (68.2 percent) than it was for nonwhite persons (61.1 percent). The proportion married was higher for white persons than for nonwhite persons in all regions and in both urban and rural areas, the difference being especially pronounced in the rural areas.
The table shown here is a preprint of table 61 from Final Report PC(1)-1B, which contains additional summary information on general characteristics of the population.
The PDF to the right contains the 3-page report.
Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.