Measuring Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage,
• Develop cost-effective systems using vital
registration and/or survey methods for provid-
ing marriage and divorce data at the national,
state, and local levels.
Conduct a study to assess the relative costs and benefits
of vital registration and survey methods for tracking
trends in marriage and divorce and providing data at
the state and local, as well as national levels, and
implement recommended systems.
Standardize marital status information across
Collect comparable information on the marital status of
people, with cohabitation included as a category.
Collect summary measures of marriage and
Ascertain the number of times married and the date the
current status began in surveys whose major focus is not
marriage and the family.
Collect full marital and cohabitation histories.
Ensure that complete cohabitation and marital
histories are collected on a consistent basis and provided
in a user-friendly format.
Include special populations.
Develop and study strategies for conducting reliable
marriage and family related research on specialized
populations such as institutionalized or group quarters
populations, ethnic and racial minorities, gays and
lesbians, and adopted and foster children.
Share existing questionnaires and knowledge.
Place examples of good questionnaire items from
existing federal surveys on the childstats.gov website to
be used as templates for surveys seeking to improve data
collection. Include methodological reports that examine
Improve tabulation and publication of marriage
and family formation data.
Expand, improve, and standardize categories presented
in tables and publications to reflect the diversity of
union status and family forms.
Measuring the Causes and Consequences
of Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage,
Increase the detail of household relationship
Identify the specific relationship of children to the
adults in the household.