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85% of Americans View Their Marriages Positively

Americans overwhelmingly rate their marriages as good or excellent. Those most recently wed are the most enthusiastic.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% of married adults regard their marriages as excellent, while another 29% categorize them as good. Just one percent (1%) say their married life is poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Those married five years or less are much more likely to view their marriages as excellent than those who have been married longer.

Men are more inclined than women to view their marriages as excellent. Women are more likely to say their marriages are good.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of all American Adults think marriage is at least somewhat important as an institution to U.S. society, with 56% who believe it is Very Important. Nineteen percent (19%) say marriage is not very or not at all important as an institution. It’s important to note that none of the questions defined marriage in any way.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of adults also feel that children are at least somewhat important in keeping a marriage together, including 47% who say they are a Very Important factor. Twenty-three percent (23%) think children are not important to a marriage’s longevity, but that includes only seven percent (7%) who say they are Not At All Important.

Married adults except for newlyweds believe slightly more strongly than unmarrieds that children are important to keeping a marriage going.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on May 22-23, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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