MARITAL CONDITION. The relation of the popu lation to the social institution of marriage is measured by numbering the classes of the single, the married, the widowed, and the divorced. This relation depends largely upon the age composition of the population group. The great majority of those who live to adult years marry, and half of those who marry are widowed, a small additional number being divorced. The age at which mar riage is entered differs greatly according to the character of the civilization. Thus in countries dominated by Caucasian standards it is usual to assume that marriage does not take place below the age of 15. In India, on the contrary, in 1891 6 per cent. of the boys and 17 per cent. of the girls under 15 years of age were married. In uncivilized and semi-civilized countries marriage of adults is practically universal. Celibacy is regarded as unnatural and almost prohibited by social opinion. A Chinese authority writing for European readers says: "In Europe every one old enough to enter the army receives a military training; in China every one old enough to marry, marries." So in India of the women over 50 less than one per cent., and of the men
about three per cent. are still single. In Europe and America among persons who have lived through the reproductive period of life the pro portion of the single is from 10 to 20 per cent. for women, except in Hungary and the United States, and from 7 to 14 per cent. for men. In the United States the proportion of the popula tion who are married has been ascertained for 1890 and 1900, with results that differ but little from the above. When the figures are analyzed by age it appears that among the young of both sexes there was a slight increase in the pro portion of married persons, and at higher ages a slight decrease in the proportion of married, the two about offsetting each other. This change is contrary to the general trend in most countries and in one or two American States for which figures covering a longer period are available. It is probably the result of very prosperous con ditions in the two or three years immediately preceding 1900, marriage figures constituting a sensitive measure of prosperity.