A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. The term is used in connection with national population and housing censuses; the United Nations defines the essential features of population and housing censuses as "individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory and defined periodicity", recommends that population censuses be taken at least every 10 years. United Nations recommendations cover census topics to be collected, official definitions and other useful information to co-ordinate international practice; the word is of Latin origin: during the Roman Republic, the census was a list that kept track of all adult males fit for military service. The modern census is essential to international comparisons of any kind of statistics, censuses collect data on many attributes of a population, not just how many people there are. Censuses began as the only method of collecting national demographic data, are now part of a larger system of different surveys.
Although population estimates remain an important function of a census, including the geographic distribution of the population, statistics can be produced about combinations of attributes e.g. education by age and sex in different regions. Current administrative data systems allow for other approaches to enumeration with the same level of detail but raise concerns about privacy and the possibility of biasing estimates. A census can be contrasted with sampling in which information is obtained only from a subset of a population. Modern census data are used for research, business marketing, planning, as a baseline for designing sample surveys by providing a sampling frame such as an address register. Census counts are necessary to adjust samples to be representative of a population by weighting them as is common in opinion polling. Stratification requires knowledge of the relative sizes of different population strata which can be derived from census enumerations. In some countries, the census provides the official counts used to apportion the number of elected representatives to regions.
In many cases, a chosen random sample can provide more accurate information than attempts to get a population census. A census is construed as the opposite of a sample as its intent is to count everyone in a population rather than a fraction. However, population censuses rely on a sampling frame to count the population; this is the only way to be sure that everyone has been included as otherwise those not responding would not be followed up on and individuals could be missed. The fundamental premise of a census is that the population is not known and a new estimate is to be made by the analysis of primary data; the use of a sampling frame is counterintuitive as it suggests that the population size is known. However, a census is used to collect attribute data on the individuals in the nation; this process of sampling marks the difference between historical census, a house to house process or the product of an imperial decree, the modern statistical project. The sampling frame used by census is always an address register.
Thus it is not known how many people there are in each household. Depending on the mode of enumeration, a form is sent to the householder, an enumerator calls, or administrative records for the dwelling are accessed; as a preliminary to the dispatch of forms, census workers will check any address problems on the ground. While it may seem straightforward to use the postal service file for this purpose, this can be out of date and some dwellings may contain a number of independent households. A particular problem is what are termed'communal establishments' which category includes student residences, religious orders, homes for the elderly, people in prisons etc; as these are not enumerated by a single householder, they are treated differently and visited by special teams of census workers to ensure they are classified appropriately. Individuals are counted within households and information is collected about the household structure and the housing. For this reason international documents refer to censuses of housing.
The census response is made by a household, indicating details of individuals resident there. An important aspect of census enumerations is determining which individuals can be counted from which cannot be counted. Broadly, three definitions can be used: de facto residence; this is important to consider individuals who have temporary addresses. Every person should be identified uniquely as resident in one place but where they happen to be on Census Day, their de facto residence, may not be the best place to count them. Where an individual uses services may be more useful and this is at their usual, or de jure, residence. An individual may be represented at a permanent address a family home for students or long term migrants, it is necessary to have a precise definition of residence to decide whether visitors to a country should be included in the population count. This is becoming more important as students travel abroad for education for a period of several years. Other groups causing problems of enumeration are new born babies, people away on holiday, people moving home around census day, people without a fixed address.
People having second homes because of working in another part of the country or retaining a holiday cottage are dif
California Democratic Party
The California Democratic Party is the state branch of the United States Democratic Party in the state of California. The party is headquartered in Sacramento, is led by acting-Chair Alex Gallardo-Rooker. With 43.5% of the state's registered voters as of 2018, the Democratic Party has the highest number of registrants of any political party in California. Democrats enjoy supermajorities in both houses of the California State Legislature, holding 61 out of 80 seats in the California State Assembly and 29 out of 40 in the California State Senate. Democrats hold all 8 statewide executive branch offices, 46 of the state's 53 seats in the House of Representatives, both of California's seats in the United States Senate. Since the beginning of the 1850s, issues regarding slavery had split the California Democratic Party. By the 1853 general election campaign, large majorities of pro-slavery Democrats from Southern California, calling themselves the Chivalry, threatened to divide the state in half, should the state not accept slavery.
John Bigler, along with former State Senator and Lieutenant Governor David C. Broderick from the previous McDougall Administration, formed the Free Soil Democratic faction, modeled after the federal Free Soil Party that argued against the spread of slavery; the Democrats split into two camps, with both the Chivalry and Free Soilers nominating their own candidates for the 1853 election. By 1857, the party had split into the Anti-Lecompton factions. Lecompton members supported the Kansas Lecompton Constitution, a document explicitly allowing slavery into the territory, while Anti-Lecompton faction members were in opposition to slavery's expansion; the violence between supporting and opposition forces led to the period known as Bleeding Kansas. Splits in the Democratic Party, as well as the power vacuum created by the collapse of the Whig Party, helped facilitate the rise of the American Party both in state and federal politics. In particular, state voters voted Know-Nothings into the California State Legislature, elected J. Neely Johnson as governor in the 1855 general elections.
During the 1859 general elections, Lecompton Democrats voted for Milton Latham, who had lived in the American South, as their nominee for Governor. Anti-Lecomptons in turn selected John Currey as their nominee; the infant Republican Party, running in its first gubernatorial election, selected businessman Leland Stanford as its nominee. To make matters more complicated, during the campaign, Senator David C. Broderick, an Anti-Lecompton Democrat, was killed in a duel by slavery supporter and former state Supreme Court Justice David Terry on September 13; until the early 1880s the Republican Party held the state through the power and influence of railroad men. The Democratic Party responded by taking an anti freedom of attainment position. In 1894, Democrat James Budd was elected to the governorship, the Democratic Party attempted to make good on their promises to reform the booming railroad industry; the party began working with the state's railroad commission to create fair rates for passengers and to eliminate monopolies the railroad companies held over the state.
The main effort focused on making railroads public avenues of transportation similar to streets and roads. This measure passed and was a great victory for the Democrats. Budd was to be the last Democratic governor for thirty years; the struggle between the anti-monopolists and the railroad companies was, however, a key and defining issue for the Democratic Party for some time. Despite their relative lack of power during this period, the Democrats in California were still active in pursuing reform; the party crusaded for tariff reform. The party supported the large scale railroad strikes that sprung up statewide; the corruption of the time in both the railroad companies and the government led to a change in political dynamic. The people of the state moved away from both of the main parties and the Progressive Movement began. While the Progressives were successful in creating positive reform and chasing out corruption, the movement drained away many of the Democratic Party's members; as their movement ended, the Republicans won the governorship, but the Democratic Party had a distinct voter advantage.
In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president and the Power balance between the Republicans and the Democrats in California equalized. However, as Roosevelt's New Deal policies began to raise the nation out of the depression, Democratic strength mounted. Culbert Olson was elected to the governorship, but his term was rocky and both parties organized against him. Shortly thereafter, Earl Warren and the Republicans seized power again; the California Democratic Party needed a new strategy to regain power in the state. A strategy of reorganization and popular mobilization emerged and resulted in the creation of the California Democratic Council; the CDC as it became known was a way for members of the party from all levels of government to come together and as such the party became more unified. A new network of politically minded civilians and elected officials emerged and the party was stronger for it. Despite the fact that the council struggled in the cold war era, due to Republican strength and issues such as the Vietnam War, it still exists today.
By 1992, California was hurting more than most states from a national recession which had started in 1990, causing incumbent Republican President George H. W. Bush's approval rating to tank within the state, giving an opening for the Democratic party to break through and become the largest party. Starting with the double digit victory of Bill Clinton, this became the f
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most identify, indicate whether or not they are of Hispanic or Latino origin. The racial categories represent a social-political construct for the race or races that respondents consider themselves to be and, "generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country." OMB defines the concept of race as outlined for the US Census as not "scientific or anthropological" and takes into account "social and cultural characteristics as well as ancestry", using "appropriate scientific methodologies" that are not "primarily biological or genetic in reference." The race categories include both national-origin groups. Race and ethnicity are considered separate and distinct identities, with Hispanic or Latino origin asked as a separate question. Thus, in addition to their race or races, all respondents are categorized by membership in one of two ethnic categories, which are "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino".
However, the practice of separating "race" and "ethnicity" as different categories has been criticized both by the American Anthropological Association and members of US Commission on Civil Rights. In 1997, OMB issued a Federal Register notice regarding revisions to the standards for the classification of federal data on race and ethnicity. OMB developed race and ethnic standards in order to provide "consistent data on race and ethnicity throughout the Federal Government; the development of the data standards stem in large measure from new responsibilities to enforce civil rights laws." Among the changes, OMB issued the instruction to "mark one or more races" after noting evidence of increasing numbers of interracial children and wanting to capture the diversity in a measurable way and having received requests by people who wanted to be able to acknowledge their or their children's full ancestry rather than identifying with only one group. Prior to this decision, the Census and other government data collections asked people to report only one race.
The OMB states, "many federal programs are put into effect based on the race data obtained from the decennial census. Race data are critical for the basic research behind many policy decisions. States require these data to meet legislative redistricting requirements; the data are needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act by local jurisdictions". "Data on ethnic groups are important for putting into effect a number of federal statutes. Data on Ethnic Groups are needed by local governments to run programs and meet legislative requirements." The 1790 United States Census was the first census in the history of the United States. The population of the United States was recorded as 3,929,214 as of Census Day, August 2, 1790, as mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution and applicable laws."The law required that every household be visited, that completed census schedules be posted in'two of the most public places within, there to remain for the inspection of all concerned...' and that'the aggregate amount of each description of persons' for every district be transmitted to the president."
This law along with U. S. marshals were responsible for governing the census. One third of the original census data has been lost or destroyed since documentation; the data was lost in 1790–1830 time period and included data from: Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia. Census data included the name of the head of the family and categorized inhabitants as follows: free white males at least 16 years of age, free white males under 16 years of age, free white females, all other free persons, slaves. Thomas Jefferson the Secretary of State, directed marshals to collect data from all thirteen states, from the Southwest Territory; the census was not conducted in Vermont until 1791, after that state's admission to the Union as the 14th state on March 4 of that year. There was some doubt surrounding the numbers, President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson maintained the population was undercounted; the potential reasons Washington and Jefferson may have thought this could be refusal to participate, poor public transportation and roads, spread out population, restraints of current technology.
No microdata from the 1790 population census is available, but aggregate data for small areas and their compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. In 1800 and 1810, the age question regarding free white males was more detailed; the 1820
Crescent City, California
Crescent City is the county seat of, only incorporated city in, Del Norte County, California. Named for the crescent-shaped stretch of sandy beach south of the city, Crescent City had a total population of 7,643 in the 2010 census, up from 4,006 in the 2000 census; the population includes inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison within the city limits, the former census-designated place Crescent City North annexed to the city. The city is the site of the Redwood National Park headquarters, as well as the historic Battery Point Light. Due to the richness of the local Pacific Ocean waters and the related catch, ease of access, Crescent City Harbor serves as home port for numerous commercial fishing vessels; the city is located on the Pacific coast in the upper northwestern part of California, about 20 miles south of the Oregon border. Crescent City's offshore geography makes it unusually susceptible to tsunamis. Much of the city was destroyed by four tsunami waves generated by the Good Friday earthquake off Anchorage, Alaska in 1964.
More the city's harbor suffered extensive damage and destruction due to tsunamis generated by the March 11, 2011 earthquake off Sendai, Japan. Several dozen vessels and many of the docks they were moored to were destroyed as wave cycles related to the tsunamis exceeded 8 feet, its climate is very moderate, with cool summers for its latitude as a result of intense maritime moderation. Nearby inland areas behind the mountains have warmer summers; the area, now known as Del Norte County was and still is inhabited by the Yurok and Tolowa Nations of indigenous peoples. The first European American to explore this land was pioneer Jedediah Smith in the early 19th century, he was the first European American to reach the area overland on foot in a time before the European Americans knew anything about such a distant territory. For him it was "Land's End" — where the American continent ended at the Pacific Ocean. In 1855 Congress authorized the building of a lighthouse at "the battery point", still functioning as a historical landmark.
European explorers first visited the area now known as Crescent City by ship in the late-1820s. Europeans began moving to the area in the 1850s. Crescent City was incorporated as a city in 1854. Crescent City was the name of a 113-ton schooner built in 1848 by Joshua T. Foster of Medford, MA; the Brother Jonathan, a paddle steamer, crashed on an uncharted rock near Point St. George, off the coast of Crescent City, California, on 30 July 1865. A 1906 ship named Crescent City was the former Jim Butler, a 701-ton steam schooner built by Lindstrom Shipbuilding Company in Aberdeen, that wrecked in the Channel Islands, off Santa Cruz Island, in 1927; the SS Emidio was a 6912-ton tanker of the General Petroleum Corporation, which became the first casualty of the Imperial Japanese Navy's submarine force action on California's Pacific Coast. The abandoned tanker broke up on the rocks off Crescent City; the remaining pieces of the ship are now California Historical Landmark #497. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.415 square miles, of which 1.963 square miles is land and 0.452 square miles is water.
Fishing and crabbing and timber are the major sources of income in the city, as well as the County of Del Norte. The mouth of Elk Creek, where it flows into the Pacific Ocean, is in Crescent City, its nearest Californian place of any size to its interior is Happy Camp separated by 42 miles by air, but due to the unsuitable terrain it is much farther away by road. The nearest city is fellow coastal city Brookings, around 20 miles to its north; the Humboldt Bay area encompassing Eureka and Arcata is more than 60 miles to its south. Crescent City is as far north in latitude as Chicago as well as New England on the Atlantic side and is as much as nine degrees latitude north of San Diego at the southern tip of the state. Crescent City has a cool-summer mediterranean climate, with moderation similar to an oceanic climate, it is one of the wettest places in California: the annual rainfall is 71.24 inches or 1,810 millimetres. The wettest months are from October to March; the average high and low temperatures in January are 54 °F or 12.2 °C and 41 °F or 5 °C.
The average high and low temperatures in August are 66 °F or 18.9 °C and 51 °F or 11 °C. On average, fifteen mornings each winter fall below 32 °F or 0 °C; the highest temperature recorded in Crescent City was 93 °F, observed on September 24, 1964, June 1, 1970, October 10, 1991. The lowest temperature on record was 19 °F on December 21, 1990; the maximum monthly precipitation was 31.25 inches in November 1973, while the wettest “rain year” has been from July 1937 to June 1938 when 107.74 inches fell, the driest certainly that from July 1976 to June 1977 with less than 40 inches. The maximum 24-hour precipitation was 7.73 inches on January 9, 1995. The highest snowfall recorded for any period in 24 hours was 6.0 inches occurring on January 6, 1972. The topography of the sea floor surrounding Crescent City has the effect of focusing tsunamis. According to researchers at Humboldt State University and the University of Southern California, the city experienced tsunami conditions 31 times between the years 1933 and 2008.
Jared William Huffman is an American politician, the U. S. Representative for California's 2nd congressional district since 2013, he is a member of the Democratic Party. From 2006 to 2012, Huffman was a member of the California State Assembly, representing the 6th district. Huffman chaired the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee and chaired the Assembly Environmental Caucus, he was elected to Congress in November 2012 with more than 70% of the vote, defeating Republican candidate Dan Roberts. His congressional district covers the North Coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. Huffman graduated from William Chrisman High School in 1982 and received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science magna cum laude from University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. At UCSB, Huffman was a three-time All-American volleyball player. Huffman was a member of the USA Volleyball Team in 1987 when the team was ranked #1 in the world and had won the World Championship.
He went on to graduate cum laude from Boston College Law School in 1990. Huffman became a consumer attorney specializing in public interest cases. Among his court victories was a case on behalf of the National Organization for Women, which required all California State University campuses to comply with Title IX. Huffman was a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, he was a publicly elected director of the Marin Municipal Water District for twelve years, including three terms as board president. Huffman won the Democratic nomination for the 6th district in a hotly contested primary in June 2006 in which he surprised the political establishment with a victory over opponents Pamela Torliatt, a Petaluma city councilwoman, Cynthia Murray, a Marin County Supervisor, considered the frontrunner. Huffman defeated Assistant State Attorney General Damon Connelly, Marin County Democratic Chairman John Alden, sociologist Alex Easton-Brown. Huffman defeated Republican opponent Dr. Michael Hartnett by a more than 2:1 margin in the general election on November 7, 2006.
Huffman faced two opponents in the November 2008 general election: Republican Paul Lavery and Libertarian Timothy Hannan. He won with 70% of the vote and the 137,873 votes he received were among the most by any California Assembly candidate in 2008. In the Democratic primary, Huffman was unopposed and received 57,213 votes—the most of any California Assemblymember in that election. In the June 2010 California primary, Huffman defeated a fellow Democratic challenger Patrick Connally. Huffman faced Republican nominee Robert Stephens in the November 2010 general election, he won overwhelmingly with more than 70% of the vote—the highest winning margin of any candidate on the ballot in the North Bay that year. Due to California term limits, Huffman would have been unable to seek a fourth Assembly term in 2012. In his first four years as a legislator, Huffman authored and passed more than 40 pieces of legislation. In 2008, Huffman sponsored a bill, which he wrote with internet attorney Daniel Balsam that aimed to close what its proponents characterized as loopholes in the CAN-SPAM Act which made it more difficult to bring lawsuits against deceptive spammers.
Although the bill passed the State Assembly and Senate, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill. On February 14, 2011, Jared Huffman cosponsored a bill with Paul Fong, California Assembly Bill 376, to make it illegal to possess, distribute, or sell shark fins, unless for research or commercial purposes. Upon his swearing-in on December 4, 2006, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez named Huffman the Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. In August 2008, the new Assembly Speaker Karen Bass named Huffman to Chair the Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee. After 20-year Democratic incumbent Lynn Woolsey announced her retirement, Huffman entered the race to run for her seat in the 2nd District, renumbered from the 6th in redistricting. California's 2nd congressional district now covers six counties: Marin, Mendocino, Trinity and Del Norte. Huffman finished first in the top-two primary with 37% of the vote. In November, Huffman defeated Republican candidate Dan Roberts 71%–29%.
In his first re-election campaign in 2014, Huffman dominated the open primary, receiving 67.9% of the vote against 22.3% for second-place finisher Dale Mensing, a Republican. Huffman went on to defeat Mensing in the fall general election by 75 to 25%; the 2016 results were similar, with Huffman receiving 68.3% of the primary vote against 15.7% for Mensing, who again finished second, defeating Mensing in the general election by 76.5% to 23.5%. In the June 2018 open primary, Huffman received 72.5% of the vote. The two faced each other in the November 2018 runoff, where Huffman was re-elected with 77.0% of the vote. In April 2018, together with Jerry McNerney, Jamie Raskin, Dan Kildee, launched the Congressional Freethought Caucus, its stated goals include "pushing public policy formed on the basis of reason and moral values", promoting the "separation of church and state," opposing discrimination against "atheists, humanists, seekers and nonreligious persons", among others. Huffman and Raskin will act as co-chairs.
The following is a partial list of legislation introduced by Huffman. California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act of 2013 – a bill that "would expand the boundary of the California Coastal National Monument to include 1,255 acres of federal land known as the Point Arena-Stornetta public lands.
California's 2nd congressional district
California's 2nd congressional district is a congressional district in the U. S. state of California. Jared Huffman, a Democrat, has represented the district since January 2013; the 2nd district encompasses the northern coast of the state. It stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border and includes all of Highway 101 north of San Francisco except for a stretch in Sonoma County, it consists of Marin, Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity counties plus portions of Sonoma County. Cities in the district include San Rafael, Novato, Healdsburg, Fort Bragg, Eureka, Arcata, McKinleyville, Crescent City, California. Prior to redistricting by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission of 2011, the 2nd district encompassed much of the far northern part of the state, from Sacramento to the Oregon border, it was the largest district by area in California. It consisted of Colusa, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties plus portions of Butte and Yolo counties. Much of this territory is now the 1st District, while the 6th District covered most of the territory now in the 2nd District.
Prior to redistricting in 2011, the 2nd District had a different political history than its current incarnation. It had been a Republican stronghold for the better part of three decades. Most of Butte, Glenn, Siskiyou, Tehama, northern Yolo, Yuba District created March 4, 1865; as of January 2019, there is one former member of the U. S. House of Representatives from California's 2nd congressional district, living; the most recent representative to die was Donald H. Clausen on February 7, 2015; the most serving representative to die was Eugene A. Chappie on May 31, 1992. List of United States congressional districts GovTrack.us: California's 2nd congressional district RAND California Election Returns: District Definitions California Voter Foundation map - CD02
Marriage called matrimony or wedlock, is a or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity; when defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is known as a wedding. Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, libidinal, financial and religious purposes. Whom they marry may be influenced by gender determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire.
In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage and sometimes forced marriage, may be practiced as a cultural tradition. Conversely, such practices may be outlawed and penalized in parts of the world out of concerns of the infringement of women's rights, or the infringement of children's rights, because of international law. Around the world in developed democracies, there has been a general trend towards ensuring equal rights within marriage for women and recognizing the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; these trends coincide with the broader human rights movement. Marriage can be recognized by a state, an organization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community, or peers, it is viewed as a contract. When a marriage is performed and carried out by a government institution in accordance with the marriage laws of the jurisdiction, without religious content, it is a civil marriage. Civil marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before the state.
When a marriage is performed with religious content under the auspices of a religious institution it is a religious marriage. Religious marriage recognizes and creates the rights and obligations intrinsic to matrimony before that religion. Religious marriage is known variously as sacramental marriage in Catholicism, nikah in Islam, nissuin in Judaism, various other names in other faith traditions, each with their own constraints as to what constitutes, who can enter into, a valid religious marriage; some countries do not recognize locally performed religious marriage on its own, require a separate civil marriage for official purposes. Conversely, civil marriage does not exist in some countries governed by a religious legal system, such as Saudi Arabia, where marriages contracted abroad might not be recognized if they were contracted contrary to Saudi interpretations of Islamic religious law. In countries governed by a mixed secular-religious legal system, such as in Lebanon and Israel, locally performed civil marriage does not exist within the country, preventing interfaith and various other marriages contradicting religious laws from being entered into in the country, civil marriages performed abroad are recognized by the state if they conflict with religious laws.
The act of marriage creates normative or legal obligations between the individuals involved, any offspring they may produce or adopt. In terms of legal recognition, most sovereign states and other jurisdictions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and a diminishing number of these permit polygyny, child marriages, forced marriages. In modern times, a growing number of countries developed democracies, have lifted bans on and have established legal recognition for the marriages of interfaith and same-sex couples; some cultures allow the dissolution of marriage through annulment. In some areas, child marriages and polygamy may occur in spite of national laws against the practice. Since the late twentieth century, major social changes in Western countries have led to changes in the demographics of marriage, with the age of first marriage increasing, fewer people marrying, more couples choosing to cohabit rather than marry. For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.
In most cultures, married women had few rights of their own, being considered, along with the family's children, the property of the husband. In Europe, the United States, other places in the developed world, beginning in the late 19th century and lasting through the 21st century, marriage has undergone gradual legal changes, aimed at improving the rights of the wife; these changes included giving wives legal identities of their own, abolishing the right of husbands to physically discipline their wives, giving wives property rights, liberalizing divorce laws, providing wives with reproductive rights of their own, requiring a wife's consent when sexual relations occur. These changes have occurred in Western countries. In the 21st century, there continue to be controversies regarding the legal status of married women, legal acceptance of or leniency towards violence within marriage, traditional marriage customs such as dowry and bride price, for