Marriage now a symbol of class status in US, says demographic researcher

Marriage in America has become a symbol of class status, according to a demographic researcher for the U.S. Census Bureau, Ben Gurrentz.

"It has become sort of a class status now. It's kind of like this symbolic sign that you made it. Marriage is a part of that,”  Gurrentz told Hill.TV co-hosts Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on “Rising.”

Gurrentz said he thinks young Americans in certain socioeconomic groups lack the economic security to marry, pointing to the impact of the Great Recession. 

"A lot of young adults started their careers during the Great Recession or after the recession,” Gurrentz said. “A lot of them fell into poverty."

Between October 2008 to March 2009, monthly job losses averaged more than 700,000 -- the most severe job loss in a six-month period since the end of World War II.

Gurrentz says more and more millennials are now putting off marriage as a result.

"The average age for first marriage is getting later and later," the demographic researcher said. "For women, it's around 27 and for men it's around 29." 

Gurrentz says this marks a striking contrast compared to previous generations.

“About one in four are currently married and this is compared to one in three for Gen X when they were young adults and about half for baby boomers at the same time,” Gurrentz told Hill.TV.

— Tess Bonn