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
El Paso, Texas
El Paso is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2017 population estimate for the city from the U. S. Census was 683,577, its metropolitan statistical area covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, has a population of 844,818. El Paso stands on the Rio Grande across the Mexico–United States border from Ciudad Juárez, the most populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua with 1.4 million people. Las Cruces, in the neighboring U. S. state of New Mexico, has a population of 215,579. On the U. S. side, El Paso metropolitan area forms part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces CSA, with a population of 1,060,397. Bi-nationally, these three cities form a combined international metropolitan area sometimes referred to as the Paso del Norte or the Borderplex; the region of 2.5 million people constitutes the largest bilingual and binational work force in the Western Hemisphere. The city is home to three publicly traded companies, former Western Refining, now Andeavor. as well as home to the Medical Center of the Americas, the only medical research and care provider complex in West Texas and Southern New Mexico, the University of Texas at El Paso, the city's primary university.
The city hosts the annual Sun Bowl college football post-season game, the second oldest bowl game in the country. El Paso has a strong military presence. William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Biggs Army Airfield, Fort Bliss call the city home. Fort Bliss is one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army and the largest training area in the United States. Headquartered in El Paso are the DEA domestic field division 7, El Paso Intelligence Center, Joint Task Force North, United States Border Patrol El Paso Sector, the U. S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group. In 2010 and 2018, El Paso received an All-America City Award. El Paso ranked in the top three safest large cities in the United States between 1997 and 2014, including holding the title of safest city between 2011 and 2014; the El Paso region has had human settlement for thousands of years, as evidenced by Folsom points from hunter-gatherers found at Hueco Tanks. The evidence suggests 10,000 to 12,000 years of human habitation.
The earliest known cultures in the region were maize farmers. When the Spanish arrived, the Manso and Jumano tribes populated the area; these were subsequently incorporated into the Mestizo culture, along with immigrants from central Mexico, captives from Comanchería, genízaros of various ethnic groups. The Mescalero Apache were present. Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate was born in 1550 in Zacatecas, Zacatecas and was the first New Spain explorer known to have observed the Rio Grande near El Paso, in 1598, celebrating a Thanksgiving Mass there on April 30, 1598. However, the four survivors of the Narváez expedition, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, Andrés Dorantes de Carranza, his enslaved Moor Estevanico, are thought to have passed through the area in the mid-1530s. El Paso del Norte was founded on the south bank of the Río Bravo del Norte, in 1659 by Fray Garcia de San Francisco. In 1680, the small village of El Paso became the temporary base for Spanish governance of the territory of New Mexico as a result of the Pueblo Revolt, until 1692 when Santa Fe was reconquered and once again became the capital.
The Texas Revolution was not felt in the region, as the American population was small. However, the region was claimed by Texas as part of the treaty signed with Mexico and numerous attempts were made by Texas to bolster these claims. However, the villages which consisted of what is now El Paso and the surrounding area remained a self-governed community with both representatives of the Mexican and Texan government negotiating for control until Texas irrevocably took control in 1846. During this interregnum, 1836–1848, Americans nonetheless continued to settle the region; as early as the mid-1840s, alongside long extant Hispanic settlements such as the Rancho de Juan María Ponce de León, Anglo settlers such as Simeon Hart and Hugh Stephenson had established thriving communities of American settlers owing allegiance to Texas. Stephenson, who had married into the local Hispanic aristocracy, established the Rancho de San José de la Concordia, which became the nucleus of Anglo and Hispanic settlement within the limits of modern-day El Paso, in 1844: the Republic of Texas, which claimed the area, wanted a chunk of the Santa Fe trade.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo made the settlements on the north bank of the river part of the US, separate from Old El Paso del Norte on the Mexican side. The present Texas–New Mexico boundary placing El Paso on the Texas side was drawn in the Compromise of 1850. El Paso remained the largest settlement in New Mexico as part of the Republic of Mexico until its cession to the U. S. in 1848, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified the border was to run north of El Paso De Norte around the Ciudad Juárez Cathedral which became part of the state of Chihuahua. El Paso County was established in March 1850, with San Elizario as the first county seat; the United States Senate fixed a boundary between Texas and New Mexico at the 32nd parallel, thus ignoring history and topography. A military post called "The Post opposite El Paso" was established in 1849 on Coons' Rancho beside the settlement of Franklin, which became the nucleus of the future El Paso, Texas.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
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
Alaska is a U. S. state in the northwest extremity of North America, just across the Bering Strait from Asia. The Canadian province of British Columbia and territory of Yukon border the state to the east and southeast, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, it has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—southern parts of the Arctic Ocean; the Pacific Ocean lies to southwest. It is the largest U. S. state by the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States. Half of Alaska's residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are a significant part of the economy; the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U. S. dollars at two cents per acre. The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912.
It was admitted as the 49th state of the U. S. on January 3, 1959. The name "Alaska" was introduced in the Russian colonial period when it was used to refer to the Alaska Peninsula, it was derived from an Aleut-language idiom. It means object to which the action of the sea is directed. Alaska is the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude in the United States because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Alaska is the only non-contiguous U. S. state on continental North America. It is technically part of the continental U. S. but is sometimes not included in colloquial use. S. called "the Lower 48". The capital city, Juneau, is situated on the mainland of the North American continent but is not connected by road to the rest of the North American highway system; the state is bordered by Yukon and British Columbia in Canada, to the east, the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean to the south and southwest, the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea to the west and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
Alaska's territorial waters touch Russia's territorial waters in the Bering Strait, as the Russian Big Diomede Island and Alaskan Little Diomede Island are only 3 miles apart. Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other U. S. states combined. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by total area at 663,268 square miles, over twice the size of Texas, the next largest state. Alaska is larger than all but 18 sovereign countries. Counting territorial waters, Alaska is larger than the combined area of the next three largest states: Texas and Montana, it is larger than the combined area of the 22 smallest U. S. states. There are no defined borders demarcating the various regions of Alaska, but there are six accepted regions: The most populous region of Alaska, containing Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula. Rural unpopulated areas south of the Alaska Range and west of the Wrangell Mountains fall within the definition of South Central, as do the Prince William Sound area and the communities of Cordova and Valdez.
Referred to as the Panhandle or Inside Passage, this is the region of Alaska closest to the rest of the United States. As such, this was where most of the initial non-indigenous settlement occurred in the years following the Alaska Purchase; the region is dominated by the Alexander Archipelago as well as the Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. It contains the state capital Juneau, the former capital Sitka, Ketchikan, at one time Alaska's largest city; the Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital surface transportation link throughout the area, as only three communities enjoy direct connections to the contiguous North American road system. Designated in 1963; the Interior is the largest region of Alaska. Fairbanks is the only large city in the region. Denali National Park and Preserve is located here. Denali is the highest mountain in North America. Southwest Alaska is a sparsely inhabited region stretching some 500 miles inland from the Bering Sea. Most of the population lives along the coast.
Kodiak Island is located in Southwest. The massive Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world, is here. Portions of the Alaska Peninsula are considered part of Southwest, with the remaining portions included with the Aleutian Islands; the North Slope is tundra peppered with small villages. The area is known for its massive reserves of crude oil, contains both the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska and the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field; the city of Utqiagvik known as Barrow, is the northernmost city in the United States and is located here. The Northwest Arctic area, anchored by Kotzebue and containing the Kobuk River valley, is regarded as being part of this region. However, the respective Inupiat of the No
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