Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is applied to living organisms, most of the time to humans, it is a key geographical term. In simple terms population density refers to the number of people living in an area per kilometer square. Population density is population divided by total land water volume, as appropriate. Low densities may lead to further reduced fertility; this is called the Allee effect after the scientist. Examples of the causes in low population densities include: Increased problems with locating sexual mates Increased inbreeding For humans, population density is the number of people per unit of area quoted per square kilometer or square mile; this may be calculated for a county, country, another territory or the entire world. The world's population is around 7,500,000,000 and Earth's total area is 510,000,000 square kilometers. Therefore, the worldwide human population density is around 7,500,000,000 ÷ 510,000,000 = 14.7 per km2. If only the Earth's land area of 150,000,000 km2 is taken into account human population density is 50 per km2.
This includes all continental and island land area, including Antarctica. If Antarctica is excluded population density rises to over 55 people per km2. However, over half of the Earth's land mass consists of areas inhospitable to human habitation, such as deserts and high mountains, population tends to cluster around seaports and fresh-water sources. Thus, this number by itself does not give any helpful measurement of human population density. Several of the most densely populated territories in the world are city-states and dependencies; these territories have a small area and a high urbanization level, with an economically specialized city population drawing on rural resources outside the area, illustrating the difference between high population density and overpopulation The potential to maintain the agricultural aspects of deserts is limited as there is not enough precipitation to support a sustainable land. The population in these areas are low. Therefore, cities in the Middle East, such as Dubai, have been increasing in population and infrastructure growth at a fast pace.
Cities with high population densities are, by some, considered to be overpopulated, though this will depend on factors like quality of housing and infrastructure and access to resources. Most of the most densely populated cities are in Southeast Asia, though Cairo and Lagos in Africa fall into this category. City population and area are, however dependent on the definition of "urban area" used: densities are invariably higher for the central city area than when suburban settlements and the intervening rural areas are included, as in the areas of agglomeration or metropolitan area, the latter sometimes including neighboring cities. For instance, Milwaukee has a greater population density when just the inner city is measured, the surrounding suburbs excluded. In comparison, based on a world population of seven billion, the world's inhabitants, as a loose crowd taking up ten square feet per person, would occupy a space a little larger than Delaware's land area; the Gaza Strip has a population density of 5,046 pop/km.
Although arithmetic density is the most common way of measuring population density, several other methods have been developed to provide a more accurate measure of population density over a specific area. Arithmetic density: The total number of people / area of land Physiological density: The total population / area of arable land Agricultural density: The total rural population / area of arable land Residential density: The number of people living in an urban area / area of residential land Urban density: The number of people inhabiting an urban area / total area of urban land Ecological optimum: The density of population that can be supported by the natural resources Demography Human geography Idealized population Optimum population Population genetics Population health Population momentum Population pyramid Rural transport problem Small population size Distance sampling List of population concern organizations List of countries by population density List of cities by population density List of city districts by population density List of English districts by population density List of European cities proper by population density List of United States cities by population density List of islands by population density List of U.
S. states by population density List of Australian suburbs by population density Selected Current and Historic City, Ward & Neighborhood Density Duncan Smith / UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. "World Population Density". Exploratory map shows data from the Global Human Settlement Layer produced by the European Commission JRC and the CIESIN Columbia University
Marion is a city in and the county seat of Williamson County, United States. The population was 17,193 at the 2010 census, it is part of a dispersed urban area. Today Marion serves as the largest retail trade center in Southern Illinois with its central location along Interstate 57 and Illinois Route 13, it is home to the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team. The city is part of the Marion-Herrin Micropolitan Area and is a part of the Carbondale-Marion-Herrin, Illinois Combined Statistical Area with 123,272 residents, the sixth most populous Combined statistical area in Illinois. Following the creation of Williamson County out of the south half of Franklin County by the Illinois General Assembly, three commissioners appointed by the lawmakers met at Bainbridge, Illinois, on August 19, 1839, for the purpose of locating a new county seat as close to the center of the county as possible; the next day, August 20, they laid out a town of 20 acres with a public square about one-quarter of a mile east of the county's center, but a point on top of a slight hill of 448 feet above sea level.
The site sat in a small open grassland known as Poor Prairie. For a name, they chose Marion to honor American Revolutionary War hero General Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion. William and Bethany Benson had entered the quarter-quarter section of land that contained the future site of Marion just the previous year on September 8, 1838, he had lived in the county at least since 1817, was the first settler to enter land in Poor Prairie. At the time the commissioners platted Marion, he had a small crop of corn and wheat growing over what became the public square; the Williamson County Court organized in Marion on October 1839, at the Benson log cabin. Overflow crowds had to use pumpkins for stools; the federal government established a post office at Marion on January 30, 1840, the legislature incorporated the community as a city on February 24, 1841. On May 29, 1982, one of the larger tornadoes in Illinois history, an F-4, hit the city of Marion and Williamson County. Ten people died and 200 people were injured after this tornado ripped across a 17-mile stretch.
The Shawnee Village apartment complex was destroyed, the Marion Ford-Mercury dealership sustained heavy damage. This tornado caused between $85 million and $100 million in damages. A memorial to the ten people who perished that day was erected on the Tower Square. Marion is in central Williamson County, with a narrow strip of city limits extending south beyond Creal Springs to the valley of Sugar Creek in Johnson County. Marion is 44 miles south of Mount Vernon, 57 miles north of Paducah, Kentucky. Carbondale is 17 miles to the west, Harrisburg is 22 miles to the east. According to the 2010 census, Marion has a total area of 16.217 square miles, of which 15.99 square miles is land and 0.227 square miles is water. As of the census of 2000, there were 16,035 people, 6,902 households, 4,341 families residing in the city; the population density was 1,250.2 people per square mile. There are 7,555 housing units at an average density of 589.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 92.89% White, 4.34% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.83% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, 1.21% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.60% of the population. There were 6,902 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.1% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.86. In the city the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males. The median income for a household in the city was $30,364, the median income for a family was $39,275. Males had a median income of $31,520 versus $22,609 for females; the per capita income for the city was $19,073. About 11.2% of families and 14.9% of the population were living below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under the age of 18 and 10.6% of those 65 and older.
The recent Great Recession impacted Marion in lower sales tax revenues for the city as well as the loss of a Circuit City distribution center, a proposed second distribution center for another major big box retailer that had never formally been named. Retail sales suffered as the recession dragged out. Collected sales tax grew 2.9 percent in 2008 compared with the year before, but growth slowed in 2009 with only a 0.7 percent increase. By 2010 the forward momentum ceased and sales tax collections dropped 1/10th of a percent. So far in 2011, January collections grew by 3/10ths of a percent and February improved by 2.4 percent. New building permits show evidence for an economic recovery. So far in 2011 builders have started four new homes, three triplex apartments, a $500,000 expansion at Timberline Fisheries, $600,000 for the new Speakeasy Liquors, a $560,000 new office and mechanical building for Clearwave Communications and the $4.7 million Holiday Inn Express. In addition, a new 4-story, 65-unit Comfort Inn broke ground in September.
Marion's location, at the crossroads of Illinois Route 13 and Interstate 57 make it a p
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
1910 United States Census
The Thirteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau on April 15, 1910, determined the resident population of the United States to be 92,228,496, an increase of 21.0 percent over the 76,212,168 persons enumerated during the 1900 Census. The 1910 Census switched from a portrait page orientation to a landscape orientation; the 1910 census collected the following information: Full documentation for the 1910 census, including census forms and enumerator instructions, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. The column titles in the census form are as follows: LOCATION. Street, road, etc. House number. 1. Number of dwelling house in order of visitation. 2. Number of family in order of visitation. 3. NAME of each person whose place of abode on April 15, 1910, was in this family. Enter surname first the given name and middle initial, if any. Include every person living on April 15, 1910. Omit children born since April 15, 1910. RELATION. 4. Relationship of this person to the head of the family.
PERSONAL DESCRIPTION. 5. Sex. 6. Color or race. 7. Age at last birthday. 8. Whether single, widowed, or divorced. 9. Number of years of present marriage. 10. Mother of how many children: Number born. 11. Mother of how many children: Number now living. NATIVITY. Place of birth of each person and parents of each person enumerated. If born in the United States, give the state or territory. If of foreign birth, give the country. 12. Place of birth of this Person. 13. Place of birth of Father of this person. 14. Place of birth of Mother of this person. CITIZENSHIP. 15. Year of immigration to the United States. 16. Whether naturalized or alien. 17. Whether able to speak English. OCCUPATION. 18. Trade or profession of, or particular kind of work done by this person, as spinner, laborer, etc. 19. General nature of industry, business, or establishment in which this person works, as cotton mill, dry goods store, etc. 20. Whether as employer, employee, or work on own account. If an employee— 21. Whether out of work on April 15, 1910.
22. Number of weeks out of work during year 1909. EDUCATION. 23. Whether able to read. 24. Whether able to write. 25. Attended school any time since September 1, 1909. OWNERSHIP OF HOME. 26. Owned or rented. 27. Owned free or mortgaged. 28. Farm or house. 29. Number of farm schedule. 30. Whether a survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy. 31. Whether blind. 32. Whether deaf and dumb. Special Notation In 1912 and 1959, New Mexico, Arizona and Hawaii would become the 47th, 48th, 49th and 50th states admitted to the Union; the 1910 population count for each of these areas was 327,301, 204,354, 64,356 and 191,909 respectively. On this basis, the ranking list above would be modified as follows: First 42 ranked states - positions unchanged New Mexico, Arizona, Hawaii, Wyoming and Alaska; the original census enumeration sheets were microfilmed by the Census Bureau in the 1940s. The microfilmed census is available in rolls from the National Records Administration. Several organizations host images of the microfilmed census online, along which digital indices.
Microdata from the 1910 census are available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Aggregate data for small areas, together with electronic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. 1911 U. S Census Report Contains 1910 Census results Historic US Census data census.gov/population/www/censusdata/PopulationofStatesandCountiesoftheUnitedStates1790-1990.pdf
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
A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service in a system it introduced in 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan; the basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that reference a more specific location; the term ZIP Code was registered as a servicemark by the U. S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired; the early history and context of postal codes began with postal district/zone numbers. The United States Post Office Department implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943. For example: The "16" was the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963; the USPOD issued its Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code on October 1, 1963, with the list of two-letter state abbreviations which are written with both letters capitalized.
An earlier list in June had proposed capitalized abbreviations ranging from two to five letters. According to Publication 59, the two-letter standard was "based on a maximum 23-position line, because this has been found to be the most universally acceptable line capacity basis for major addressing systems", which would be exceeded by a long city name combined with a multi-letter state abbreviation, such as "Sacramento, Calif." along with the ZIP Code. The abbreviations have remained unchanged, with the exception of Nebraska, changed from NB to NE in 1969 at the request of the Canadian postal administration, to avoid confusion with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Robert Moon is considered the father of the ZIP Code; the post office only credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the sectional center facility or "sec center." An SCF is a central mail processing facility with those three digits. The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn Sr.
The SCF sorts mail to all post offices with those first three digits in their ZIP Codes. The mail is sorted according to the final two digits of the ZIP Code and sent to the corresponding post offices in the early morning. Sectional centers do not deliver mail and are not open to the public, most of their employees work the night shift. Mail picked up at post offices is sent to their own SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight. In the case of large cities, the last two digits coincide with the older postal zone number thus: In 1967, these became mandatory for second- and third-class bulk mailers, the system was soon adopted generally; the United States Post Office used a cartoon character, which it called Mr. ZIP, to promote the use of the ZIP Code, he was depicted with a legend such as "USE ZIP CODE" in the selvage of panes of postage stamps or on the covers of booklet panes of stamps. In 1971 Elmira Star-Gazette reporter Dick Baumbach found out the White House was not using a ZIP Code on its envelopes.
Herb Klein, special assistant to President Nixon, responded by saying the next printing of envelopes would include the ZIP Code. In 1983, the U. S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4 called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add-ons". A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. However, initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance and today the plus-four code is not required. In general, mail is read by a multiline optical character reader that instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the more specific delivery point—and sprays an Intelligent Mail barcode on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
For Post Office Boxes, the general rule is. The add-on code is one of the following: the last four digits of the box number, zero plus the last three digits of the box number, or, if the box number consists of fewer than four digits, enough zeros are attached to the front of the box number to produce a four-digit number. However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box; the ZIP Code is translated into an Intelligent Mail barcode, printed on the mailpiece to make it easier for automated machines to sort. A barcode can be printed by the sender, it is better to let the post office put one on. In general, the post office uses OCR technology, though in some cases a human might have to read and enter the address. Customers who send bulk mail can get a discount on postage if they have printed the barcode themselves and have presorted the mai
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