via Marriage is losing ground to a grinding economic slowdown that has prompted more couples to live together without tying the knot.

Do You Like this Article? Then Like Us on Facebook.

The share of couples who are not married has risen in many places but is highest in areas that offer many people grim prospects for a better financial future: old industrial cities and the Mississippi Delta.

Unmarried couples made up 12% of U.S. couples in 2010, a 25% increase in 10 years, according to Census data out today.

Two-thirds of the cities with the largest shares of unmarried couples were in the Northeast and Midwest, up from about half a decade earlier.

In Camden, N.J., 35% of couples are not married, up from 28% in 2000 and the highest of any city with at least 50,000 people. Other cities where more couples are choosing not to marry: Rochester, N.Y., 33%, up from 26%; Flint, Mich., 29%, up from 21%; Cleveland, 27%, up from 20%.

“Couples whose employment opportunities are more precarious tend not to marry,” says Stephanie Coontz, sociologist with the Council on Contemporary Families. Many “are hedging their bets — waiting to see if they can improve their long-term odds by making sure they’re economically and emotionally secure with each other.”

Click here to continue reading.