The State of Our Unions monitors the current health of marriage and family life in America. Produced annually, it is a joint publication of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values.

2011 Version of unions pdf in its entiretyPDF of entire 2011 Unions

EDITOR W. Bradford Wilcox
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Elizabeth Marquardt
FOUNDING CO-EDITORS David Popenoe & Barbara Dafoe Whitehead



Executive Summary

W. Bradford Wilcox & Elizabeth Marquardt

Using data from three nationally representative surveys, When Baby Makes Three responds to three important questions: Is it emotionally easier to parent alone in a world in which a good marriage seems increasingly out of reach? Is parenthood itself an obstacle to a good marriage? What are the social, cultural, and relational sources of marital success among today's parents?

When Baby Makes Three: How Parenthood Makes Life Meaningful and How Marriage Makes Parenthood Bearable

W. Bradford Wilcox & Elizabeth Marquardt

Becoming a parent is one of the top priorities for today’s young adults—far outpacing money, professional success, religious faith, and even a good marriage. So, for today’s women and men of childbearing age, what happens when a baby comes along?

Family Size, Faith, and the Meaning of Parenthood

W. Bradford Wilcox & Elizabeth Marquardt

Given the negative association between marital happiness and parenthood, one might expect that the least happy husbands and wives would be parents of large families. Not so. In a striking finding, it turns out that the relationship between family size and marital happiness is curvilinear. In other words, according to the Survey of Marital Generosity, the happiest husbands and wives among today’s young couples are those with no children and those with four or more children.

Social Indicators of
Marital Health and Wellbeing:

Marriage Divorce Unmarried Cohabitation Loss of Child Centeredness Fragile Families with Children Teen Attitudes about Marriage and Family