United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U. S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy; the Census Bureau is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States; the Census Bureau's primary mission is conducting the U. S. Census every ten years, which allocates the seats of the U. S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population; the Bureau's various censuses and surveys help allocate over $400 billion in federal funds every year and it helps states, local communities, businesses make informed decisions. The information provided by the census informs decisions on where to build and maintain schools, transportation infrastructure, police and fire departments. In addition to the decennial census, the Census Bureau continually conducts dozens of other censuses and surveys, including the American Community Survey, the U. S. Economic Census, the Current Population Survey.
Furthermore and foreign trade indicators released by the federal government contain data produced by the Census Bureau. Article One of the United States Constitution directs the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College; the Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every 10 years in years ending with a zero and uses the term "decennial" to describe the operation. Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population projections. In addition, Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education and more; the Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, economy. The Census Bureau's legal authority is codified in Title 13 of the United States Code.
The Census Bureau conducts surveys on behalf of various federal government and local government agencies on topics such as employment, health, consumer expenditures, housing. Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial population counts; the Census Bureau conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail and other establishments and of domestic governments. Between 1790 and 1840, the census was taken by marshals of the judicial districts; the Census Act of 1840 established a central office. Several acts followed that revised and authorized new censuses at the 10-year intervals. In 1902, the temporary Census Office was moved under the Department of Interior, in 1903 it was renamed the Census Bureau under the new Department of Commerce and Labor; the department was intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the department. An act in 1920 changed the date and authorized manufacturing censuses every two years and agriculture censuses every 10 years.
In 1929, a bill was passed mandating the House of Representatives be reapportioned based on the results of the 1930 Census. In 1954, various acts were codified into Title 13 of the US Code. By law, the Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U. S. President by December 31 of any year ending in a zero. States within the Union receive the results in the spring of the following year; the United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions. The Census Bureau regions are "widely used...for data collection and analysis". The Census Bureau definition is pervasive. Regional divisions used by the United States Census Bureau: Region 1: Northeast Division 1: New England Division 2: Mid-Atlantic Region 2: Midwest Division 3: East North Central Division 4: West North Central Region 3: South Division 5: South Atlantic Division 6: East South Central Division 7: West South Central Region 4: West Division 8: Mountain Division 9: Pacific Many federal, state and tribal governments use census data to: Decide the location of new housing and public facilities, Examine the demographic characteristics of communities and the US, Plan transportation systems and roadways, Determine quotas and creation of police and fire precincts, Create localized areas for elections, utilities, etc.
Gathers population information every 10 years The United States Census Bureau is committed to confidentiality, guarantees non-disclosure of any addresses or personal information related to individuals or establishments. Title 13 of the U. S. Code establishes penalties for the disclosure of this information. All Census employees must sign an affidavit of non-disclosure prior to employment; the Bureau cannot share responses, addresses or personal information with anyone including United States or foreign government
Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, United States, about 15 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri; the population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area, it is famous for its limestone bluffs along the river north of the city, for its role preceding and during the American Civil War, as the home town of jazz musician Miles Davis and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history. It was the site of the last Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in October 1858; the former state penitentiary in Alton was used during the Civil War to hold up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners of war. Although Alton once was growing faster than its sister city of St. Louis, a coalition of St. Louis businessmen planned to build a competing town to stop its expansion and bring business to St. Louis; the result was Illinois. Many blocks of housing in Alton were built in the Victorian Queen Anne style. At the top of the hill in the commercial area, several stone churches and a fine city hall represent the city's wealth during its good times based on river traffic and shipping.
It was a commercial center for a large agricultural area. Numerous residences on hills have sweeping views of the Mississippi River; the Alton area was home to Native Americans for thousands of years before the 19th-century founding by European Americans of the modern city. Historic accounts indicate occupation of this area by the Illiniwek or Illinois Confederacy at the time of European contact. Earlier native settlement is demonstrated by archaeological artifacts and the famous prehistoric Piasa bird painted on a cliff face nearby; the image was first written about in 1673 by French missionary priest Father Jacques Marquette. Alton was developed as a river town in 1818 by Rufus Easton. Easton ran a passenger ferry service across the Mississippi River to the Missouri shore. Alton is located amid the confluence of three significant navigable rivers: the Illinois, the Mississippi, the Missouri. Alton grew into a river trading town with an industrial character; the city rises steeply from the waterfront, where massive concrete grain silos and railroad tracks were constructed in the 19th and 20th centuries to aid in shipping the area's grains and produce.
Brick commercial buildings are located throughout downtown. Once the site of several brick factories, Alton has an unusually high number of streets still paved in brick; the lower levels of Alton are subject to floods, many of which have inundated the historic downtown area. The flood levels of different dates are marked on the large grain silos, part of the Ardent Mills, near the Argosy Casino at the waterfront; the flood of 1993 is considered the worst in the last 100 years. It became an important town for abolitionists, as Illinois was a free state across from the slave state of Missouri. Pro-slavery activists lived there and slave catchers raided the city. Escaped slaves would cross the Mississippi to seek shelter in Alton, proceed to safer places through stations of the Underground Railroad. During the years before the American Civil War, several homes were equipped with tunnels and hiding places for stations on the Underground Railroad to aid slaves escaping to the North. On November 7, 1837, the abolitionist printer Reverend Elijah P. Lovejoy was murdered by a pro-slavery mob while he tried to protect his Alton-based press from being destroyed for the third time.
He had moved from St. Louis because of opposition there, he had distributed them throughout the area. When one of the mob made a move to set the old warehouse on fire, armed with only a pistol, went outside to try to stop him; the pro-slavery man shot him dead. Lovejoy thus became the first martyr of the abolition movement. Alton became the seat of a diocese of the Catholic Church in 1857, its first bishop was French-born Henry Damian Juncker. The new diocese had 18 priests and 50,000 Catholics; when he died, 11 years the churches were 125, the priests more than 100, the Catholics 80,000. He was succeeded by Peter Joseph Baltes from James Ryan. In 1923 the bishop's seat was moved to Illinois; the Diocese of Alton, no longer a residential bishopric, is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see. Titular bishops appointed to the see have been Josu Iriondo. Congressional representatives came to Alton when they drafted the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution, to permanently end slavery throughout the Union.
Alton resident and US Senator Lyman Trumbull, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, co-wrote the Thirteenth Amendment. His Alton home, the Lyman Trumbull House, is a National Historic Monument. On October 15, 1858, Alton was the site of the seventh Lincoln-Douglas debate. A memorial at the site in downtown Alton features oversized statues of Lincoln and Douglas, as they would have appeared during the debate. Just two weeks into the American Civil War, Alton played an important part in the infamous Camp Jackson Affair, which in large part led to the eviction of Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson from office; the State of Missouri's nominal neutrality was tested in a conflict over the St. Louis Arsenal; the Federal Government reinforced the Arsenal's tiny garrison with several detachments, most notably a force from the 2nd Infantry under Captain Nathaniel Lyon. Concerned by widespread reports that Governor Jackson intended to use the Missouri Volunteer Militia to at
Hamel is a village in Madison County, United States. The population was 816 at the 2010 census, it is a part of the Illinois Metro East portion of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Hamel is located at 38°53′15″N 89°50′38″W. According to the 2010 census, Hamel has a total area of 1.16 square miles, of which 1.15 square miles is land and 0.01 square miles is water. As of the census of 2000, there were 570 people, 233 households, 170 families residing in the village; the population density was 491.3 people per square mile. There were 242 housing units at an average density of 208.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the village was 98.25% White, 0.35% from other races, 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.53% of the population. There were 233 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.5% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.0% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.92. In the village, the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males. The median income for a household in the village was $45,750, the median income for a family was $55,694. Males had a median income of $41,023 versus $24,028 for females; the per capita income for the village was $19,062. About 4.0% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over. Village of Hamel
Edwardsville is a city in Madison County, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,293, it is the county seat of Madison County. The city was named in honor of Ninian Edwards Governor of the Illinois Territory. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Edwardsville Arts Center, the Edwardsville Journal, the Madison County Record, the Edwardsville Intelligencer are here. Edwardsville High School and Metro-East Lutheran High School serve students in the area. Edwardsville is a part of Southern Illinois, the Metro East region, Greater St. Louis, it is part of the Edwardsville School District, which includes the villages of Glen Carbon and Moro, as well as the townships areas around them. A 2010 issue of Family Circle magazine named Edwardsville third of their "Top 10 Best Towns for Families." MCT Trails: Madison County Transit has developed more than 125 miles of scenic bikeways that weave throughout the communities of Edwardsville, nearby Glen Carbon and beyond, connects its MCTTrail system with its public bus system.
The trails are asphalt. Maps of the trails, which connect to neighborhoods, business districts, SIUE, more, are available on kiosks throughout the trail system or online at www.mcttrails.org. Watershed Nature Center: 46-acre wildlife preserve; the interpretive center displays native Illinois plants and animals and has education about the environment. Programming for children and adults is available. SIUE Campus: Located on 2,660 acres, the SIUE campus is one of the largest college campuses in the United States; the property includes rolling hills, acres of forests, extensive fields. Edwardsville Parks: Glik Park, City Park, Edwardsville Township Park, Leclaire Park, Lusk Park. Arts & Culture: Edwardsville Arts Center, Wildey Theater, Edwardsville Children's Museum, Madison County Historical Museum, Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities. Edwardsville was incorporated in 1818; the first European-American settler was Thomas Kirkpatrick, who came in 1805, laid out a community, served as the Justice of the Peace.
He named the community after his friend Ninian Edwards territorial governor of Illinois. The Edwards Trace, a key trail in the settlement of Central Illinois, used Edwardsville as a northward launching point. In 1868 was founded The Bank of Edwardsville, still functioning regional bank. In 1890, St. Louis industrialist N. O. Nelson chose a tract of land just south of Edwardsville to build plumbing factories, he built a model workers' cooperative village called Leclaire. He offered workers fair wages with a share of the profits, he named the village in honor of the French economist Edme-Jean Leclaire. The village provided educational and recreational opportunities and made it financially possible for anyone to own his own home. Unlike company towns such as Pullman near Chicago, the welfare and quality of life for the workers and their families was a major concern. In 1934, the Village of Leclaire was incorporated into the City of Edwardsville; the area has a lake and park, baseball field, the Edwardsville Children's Museum in the former Leclaire schoolhouse.
Several Nelson factory buildings were renovated and adapted for use as the historic N. O. Nelson Campus of Lewis and Clark Community College; the recognized Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Each year on the third Sunday in October, the Friends of Leclaire host the annual Leclaire Parkfest with food, live heritage music, historic displays & tours, children's activities, a book sale, more. In 1983, Edwardsville’s historic Saint Louis Street was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Dating back to 1809, this Historic District has a mile-long visual landscape. More than 50 historic homes date from the middle 19th century to early 20th century; the protection and preservation of Saint Louis Street is overseen by the Historic Saint Louis Street Association. Five Illinois governors came from Edwardsville: namesake Ninian Edwards, who became a territorial governor in 1809 and served as governor from 1826–1830. Former president Abraham Lincoln was in Edwardsville twice, as an attorney in the 1814 courthouse and a speaker outside the 1857 courthouse on Sept. 11, 1858.
The present county courthouse, a square, four-story neoclassical structure of white marble that rises to six stories at the back section, was constructed from 1913-15. According to the 2010 census, Edwardsville has an area of 20.165 square miles, of which 19.56 square miles is land and 0.605 square miles is water. As of the census of 2005, 24,047 people, 7,975 households, 5,199 families resided in the city; the population density was 1,549.2 people per square mile. There were 8,331 housing units at an average density of 600.6 per square mile. The city's racial makeup was 87.70% White, 8.66% African American, 1.69% Asian, 0.28% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, 1.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.00% of the population. There were 10,000 households, out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.8% were non-families.
25.9% of all households were made up of individuals, 8.7% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44, the average family siz
Granite City, Illinois
Granite City is a city in Madison County, United States, within the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area; the population was 29,849 at the 2010 census, making it the second-largest city in the Metro East and Southern Illinois regions, behind Belleville. Founded in 1896, Granite City was named by the Niedringhaus brothers and Frederick, who established it as a steel making company town for the manufacture of kitchen utensils made to resemble granite; the area was settled much earlier than Granite City's official founding. In the early 19th century, settlers began to farm the rich fertile grounds to the east of St. Louis. Around 1801, the area saw the establishment of Six Mile Settlement, a farming area that occupied the area of present-day Granite City, six miles from St. Louis. Soon after, around 1806, the National Road was to be constructed through the area, but it was never completed. By 1817, the area became to distinguish it from Six Mile Township. By 1854, the first railroad was built. In 1856, the area known as Six Mile would be changed to Kinder.
Granite City was founded in 1896 to be a planned company city similar to Pullman, Illinois, by German immigrant brothers Frederick G. and William Niedringhaus for their Granite ware kitchen supplies factory. Since 1866, the brothers had been operating the St. Louis Stamping Company, an iron works company, that made kitchen utensils in St. Louis, Missouri. In the 1870s, William discovered an enamelware process in Europe whereby metal utensils could be coated with enamel to make them lighter and more resistant to oxidation. At the time, most enamelware was just one color as the additions of any colors to the process was inefficient. On June 1, 1878, William applied for Patent 207543 to improve the efficiency whereby a pattern could be applied to enamelware while the enamel was still wet by placing a thin piece of paper with an oxidized pattern on top of it; the paper would fall off in the drying process and the pattern was embedded. The brothers' pattern made; the resulting product was enormously popular.
The brothers opened the Granite Iron Rolling Mills in St. Louis to provide tin to its prospering kitchen supplies manufacturer; the imported tin had a $22 per ton tariff. Frederick ran for Congress in Missouri in 1888. During his one term in the 51st Congress, he urged the passage of a new tariff of 50 percent of value on imported iron and tin. With the increased tariff, the U. S. steel industry took off. As they planned expansion of their Bessemer process steel works, they were blocked by the city of St. Louis which did not want the expansion; as well, the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis planned to tax coal crossing the Mississippi River into Missouri. In 1891, the brothers bought 3,500 acres from business tycoon Lars Kovala; this land extended from the Mississippi River across the Chicago and Quincy Railroad tracks for their new Granite City. With the help of the St. Louis City Engineer, a street grid was laid out with streets listed in alphabetic order plus numbered streets, the only exception being Niedringhaus Avenue.
The Niedringhaus family required. Houses were purchased with Niedringhaus mortgages. Unlike Pullman, they did not exert major control over the day-to-day lives of their employees and left the government of the city up to the residents. African-Americans were not instead congregated in Brooklyn, Illinois; the plant would grow to occupy 1,250,000 square feet and employ more than 4,000 people. The plant prospered until the 1950s when aluminum, stainless steel, pyrex replaced iron-based utensils; the granite pattern in kitchen utensils in roasting pans, remains popular. In 1896, Granite City was incorporated as a City within Madison County, Illinois; the first seven years went as planned with rapid growth. Henry Fossiek was hired as the first policeman, a School Board of Directors was appointed by the Mayor, four schools opened, the 1st Church of the Concordian Lutheran Church was built, Stamping Company changed its name to National Enameling & Stamping Company, lots were sold for a new subdivision to be named ‘Granite Park’.
In 1903, a massive flood covered all of West Granite while the rest of the town stayed dry. In 1906, a different kind of flood occurred. Ten thousand persons emigrated to Granite City from Macedonia, Bulgaria and other parts of Central and Eastern Europe, during a two-year period; the majority of these immigrants those from the country of Hungary, moved to present-day Lincoln Place. At the time, this area was called ‘Hungary Hollow’. During the Panic of 1907, the neighborhood of Hungary Hollow was nicknamed ‘Hungry Hollow’, as many immigrants starved during this period; the following year, one of the founding fathers of the city and of NESCO, William Niedringhaus, would die, leading to the beginning of a new era in both the company and the city's future. It was during this period that St. Joseph Catholic Church was organized and a canal and levee system were built. Methody Bulgarian Church in America was built in Hungary Hollow for the large number of Macedonians and Bulgarians living there. At the time, Granite City had the largest concentration of Bulgarians in the country and boasted the only American newspaper printed in the Bulgarian language.
Around 1903, Granite City expelled its African American residents. In 1967, the Congress of Racial Equality alleged. Mayor Donald Partney acknowledged that the city was understood to
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
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