Elgin is a city in Cook and Kane counties in the northern part of the U. S. state of Illinois. Located 35 mi northwest of Chicago, it lies along the Fox River; as of 2017, the city had an estimated population of 112,456, making it the eighth-largest city in Illinois. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the Black Hawk Indian War of 1832 led to the expulsion of the Native Americans who had settlements and burial mounds in the area, set the stage for the founding of Elgin. Thousands of militiamen and soldiers of Gen. Winfield Scott's army marched through the Fox River valley during the war, accounts of the area's fertile soils and flowing springs soon filtered east. In New York, James T. Gifford and his brother Hezekiah Gifford heard tales of this area ripe for settlement, travelled west. Looking for a site on the stagecoach route from Chicago to Galena, they settled on a spot where the Fox River could be bridged. In April 1835, they established the city, naming it after the Scottish tune "Elgin".
Early Elgin achieved fame for the butter and dairy goods it sold to the city of Chicago. Gail Borden established a condensed milk factory here in 1866, the local library was named in his honor; the dairy industry became less important with the arrival of the Elgin Watch Company. The watch factory employed three generations of Elginites from the late 19th to the mid 20th century, when it was the largest producer of fine watches in the United States and the operator of the largest watchmaking complex in the world. Today, the clocks at Chicago's Union Station still bear the Elgin name. Elgin has a long tradition of invention. Elgin is home to the Elgin Academy, the oldest coeducational, non-sectarian college preparatory school west of the Allegheny Mountains. Elgin High School boasts five Navy admirals, a Nobel Prize winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, a Tony Award winner, two Academy Award–winning producers, Olympic athletes and a General Motors CEO among its alumni. Elgin resident John Murphy invented the motorized streetsweeper in 1914 and formed the Elgin Sweeper Corporation.
Pioneering African-American chemist Lloyd Hall was an Elgin native, as was the legendary marketer and car stereo pioneer Earl "Madman" Muntz and Max Adler, founder of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, America's first planetarium. Local historian E. C. Alft has written an ongoing newspaper column about Elgin's history. Elgin is located at 42°2′18″N 88°19′22″W. According to the 2010 census, Elgin has a total area of 37.704 square miles, of which 37.16 square miles is land and 0.544 square miles is water. On March 28, 1920, Elgin was struck by several tornadoes along the Fox River that caused significant damage to Chicago and several western suburbs. Four people were killed and several businesses and homes were destroyed, including the Opera House and Grant Theater; as of the census of 2010, there were 108,188 people, 37,848 households. The population density was 2,911.2 people per square mile. There were 37,848 housing units at an average density of 1,306.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 65.9% White, 7.4% African American, 1.40% Native American, 5.4% Asian, 16.3% from other races, 3.6% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 43.6% of the population. A significant portion of Elgin's Asian population was of Laotian origin. There were 35,094 households out of which 38% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.0% were non-families. 19.4% of all households were made up of individuals 65 years and older, 7.1% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.56. In the city, the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.5 years. 50.2% of the population was female. The median income for a household in the city was $56,337, the median income for a family was $68,740. Males had a median income of $39,581 versus $28,488 for females; the per capita income for the city was $21,478.
About 6.4% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over. In 2013, Elgin ranked number one in the Chicago metropolitan area in new home starts, while ranking second in new home closings. Elgin's downtown has been the center of city renovations and new developments. New townhouses, condo towers, loft spaces, art galleries have opened in the last decade. In October 2003 the Gail Borden Public Library moved into a new $30 million, 139,980 square foot, 460,000 volume-capacity building. In August 2009 the city opened the first satellite branch; the 10,000 square foot Rakow Branch, situated on Elgin's West Side, was LEED registered, was designed to be expandable up to 30,000 square feet. Elgin opened the 185,000 sq. ft. Centre of Elgin recreation facility across the street from the library. In 2009, Gail Borden was one of five libraries to receive the National Medal for Museum and Library Service issued by the Institute of Museum and Library Service in Washington DC.
In 2014, Elgin completed the Central Business District Streetscape Improvement Project and the Riverside Drive Promenade. In the 1990s, Elgin became one of the few cities in northern Illinois to host a riverboat casino; the Grand Victoria Casino generated controversy, but went on to be a significant source of income for the city
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
Elmhurst is a city in DuPage County and overlapping into Cook County in the U. S. state of Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. As of the 2017 census, the city has a population of 46,662. Members of the Potawatomi Native American people, who settled along Salt Creek just south of where the city would develop, are the earliest known settlers of the Elmhurst area. Around 1836, European-American immigrants settled on tracts of land along the same creek. At what would become Elmhurst City Centre, a native of Ohio named Gerry Bates established a community on a tract of "treeless land" in 1842; the following year, Hill Cottage Tavern opened where St. Charles Road and Cottage Hill Avenue presently intersect. In 1845, the community was named Cottage Hill when a post office was established. Four years the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad was given right-of-way through Cottage Hill giving farmers easier access to Chicago; the community changed its name to Elmhurst in 1869. In 1871, Elmhurst College was organized and has 3,500 undergraduates and about 300 graduate students.
Elmhurst was incorporated as a village in 1882, with a population between 723 and 1,050, legal boundaries of St. Charles Road to North Avenue, one half mile west and one quarter mile east of York Street. Elmhurst Memorial Hospital was founded in 1926 as the first hospital in DuPage County; the Memorial Parade has run every Memorial Day since 1918. The annual Elmhurst St. Patrick's Day Parade continues to be the third largest parade of that sort in the Chicago area, following the more famous parades downtown and on the city's South Side. Since 1964, it has been home to Elmhurst CRC, one of the largest congregations of the Christian Reformed Church in North America; the Keebler Company's corporate headquarters was in Elmhurst until 2001, when the Kellogg Company purchased the company. The city is home to the headquarters of McMaster-Carr Supply Co.. Famous Amos cookies are distributed from Elmhurst. In 2014, Family Circle magazine ranked Elmhurst as one of the "Ten Best U. S. Towns for Families". According to the 2010 census, Elmhurst has a total area of 10.306 square miles, of which 10.25 square miles is land and 0.056 square miles is water.
The town has a tendency to flood, the city has tried preventing or suppressing future floods. As of the 2000 census, there were 42,762 people, 15,627 households, 11,235 families residing in the city; the population density was 4,165.9 people per square mile. There were 16,147 housing units at an average density of 1,573.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 93.40% White, 0.94% African American, 0.06% Native American, 3.67% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.97% from other races, 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.02% of the population. There were 15,627 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.0% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.1% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.19. In the city, the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males. According to a 2016 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $104,854 Males had a median income of $57,193 versus $37,087 for females; the per capita income for the city was $44,601. About 1.9% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.6% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over. According to Elmhurst's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are: The Theatre Historical Society of America is focused on the preservation of dance and movie theaters and includes a collection of objects from many theaters that are no longer in existence. Among the items on display is a scale model of the 1927 Avalon Theater. Wilder Park Conservatory A 150-foot-deep limestone quarry covering about 59 acres is located half a mile west of downtown along West Avenue and 1st Street.
A tunnel from Salt Creek diverts water into the quarry in case of a flood. The quarry is an important piece of DuPage County's stormwater management system, can hold up to 8,300 acre-feet of stormwater; each spring, the company RGL Marketing for the Arts runs Art in Wilder Park. The event takes place in centrally located Wilder Park, home to the Wilder Mansion, the Elmhurst Public Library, the Wilder Park Conservatory and the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Arts; the event "features of a juried show of fine arts and original creations of over 100 artists, including jewelry, ceramics, wood, sculpture and mixed media." The event hosts live music and entertainment and over 40 food vendors. Timeline for Elmhurst's leadership: 1882 - Incorporated as a village in June. 1882 - Henry Glos elected as first village president. 1887 - Peter Wolf elected as village president. 1902 - Edwin Heidemann elected as village president. 1905 - Henry C. Schumacher elected as village president. 1908 - C. J. Albert elected as village president.
1910 - Adopted city form of government. 1910 - Henry C. Schumacher elected as first city mayor. 1912 - F. W. M. Hammerschmidt elected as mayor. 1919 - Otto Balgemann elected as mayor. 1931 - Edward Blatter
Berwyn is a suburban city in Cook County, coterminous with Berwyn Township, formed in 1908 after breaking off from Cicero Township. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,657. Before being settled, the land, now Berwyn was traversed by Native American trails; the most important trails converged near the Chicago portage, two significant routes crossed what is today Berwyn. A branch of the Trail to Green Bay crossed Berwyn at what is now Riverside Drive, the Ottawa Trail spanned the southern end of the city. In 1846, the first land in "Berwyn" was deeded to Theodore Doty who built the 8-foot-wide Plank Road from Chicago to Ottawa along the Ottawa Trail; the trail had been used as a French and Indian trade route and more as a stage coach route to Lisle. This thoroughfare became. In 1856, Thomas F. Baldwin purchased 347 acres of land, bordered by what is now Ogden Avenue, Ridgeland Avenue, 31st Street, Harlem Avenue, in hopes of developing a rich and aristocratic community called "LaVergne".
However, few people were interested in grassy marshland. Mud Lake extended nearly to the southern border of today's Berwyn, the land flooded during heavy rains; the only mode of transportation to LaVergne was buggy on the Plank Road. To encourage people to move to LaVergne, Baldwin sold an 80-foot-wide strip of property to the Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1862; the rail line opened in 1864, but the train did not stop in the area. The railroad refused to build a station, so the residents of the area constructed LaVergne Station on Ridgeland Avenue in 1874. However, the financial panic of 1873 and Baldwin's death in 1876 stunted the growth of LaVergne. Baldwin's daughter, inherited her father's estate, in 1879 she sold most of the land to a group of realtors controlled by Marshall Field; the new development stipulated the minimum building cost of each home. By the end of 1880, 12 new homes were built. By 1888, the settlement had grown so much that the Baldwin family donated the triangular piece of land bounded by Ogden Avenue, 34th Street, Gunderson Avenue so that a school could be built.
LaVergne School became the first public building in Berwyn. In 1890, Charles E. Piper and Wilbur J. Andrews, two Chicago attorneys, purchased a 106-acre plot of land from the Field syndicate to develop; the land was bounded by Wesley, Kenilworth, 31st Street, Ogden Avenues. By the following year, the two received approval from Cicero Township to double their land holdings. Piper and Andrews wanted the railroad to build a station in their development, but the railroad had stations at La Vergne and at Harlem Avenue. Piper and Andrews decided to build a station with the understanding that trains would stop regularly, they did not know what to name their station so they consulted a Pennsylvania train timetable to find a name. The name they chose was a beautiful subdivision outside of Philadelphia. After 1901, all settlements in the area were known as Berwyn. While Piper and Andrews were developing the southern portion of present-day Berwyn, John Kelly was helping to develop the north part from 12th Street to 16th Street.
This area was a part of an Oak Park subdivision, it appeared on some maps as "South Oak Park". In fact, children who lived in this area went to school in Oak Park. John Kelly was known as "Mr. Everything" because he was a realtor, insurance seller, community servant. In between the two settlements, there was little except for a few farms; the area between 16th and 31st streets was not settled. There were only two paths by which to travel between the two settlements, today these paths are known as Oak Park Avenue and Ridgeland Avenue. Although Berwyn was chartered as a city in 1908, it was not until the 1920s that this middle portion of land was developed. During this time, Berwyn was the area's fastest growing suburb; the city's stringent building codes resulted in block upon block of well-built brick two-story bungalows. Many contained elaborate design elements not seen, such as stained glass windows, clay tile roofs, terra cotta, intricate brick patterns. Today, Berwyn is noted as having the most significant collection of Chicago-style bungalows in the nation.
As of the census of 2010, there were 56,657 people and 18,910 households in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 60.48% White, 6.40% African American, 0.59% Native American, 2.52% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 26.61% some other race, 3.37% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 59.44% of the population. The population density was 14,527.4 inhabitants per square mile. Berwyn has the highest population density of any township in Illinois, it and Cicero are the only townships in Illinois that have a higher population density than the city of Chicago. The top five non-Hispanic ancestries reported in Berwyn as of the 2009-2011 American Community Survey were Italian, German and Polish. In the 2010 census, there were 18,910 households, out of which 41.9% had children under the age of 18. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals, 8.2% were someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99, the average family size was 3.62. The age distribution was 27.8% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 32.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and ov
Area code 708
Telephone area code 708 covers western and southern Cook County and eastern and southern Will County in the state of Illinois, USA. Area code 708 was split off from area code 312 on November 11, 1989, once covered all of the suburbs of Chicago. In 1996, it was reduced to its current size in a three-way split; the northern suburbs became area code 847, while the western suburbs became area code 630. Area code 464 is being reserved as an overlay area code for 708 to provide additional numbering options for this area. Area code 708 was Illinois' first new area code since 309 was created in 1957 and the second new code for the state since the NANP went online in 1947. List of NANP area codes List of Illinois area codes Map of Illinois area codes at North American Numbering Plan Administration's website List of exchanges from AreaCodeDownload.com, 708 Area Code
Brookfield is a village in Cook County, United States, located 13 miles west of downtown Chicago. Its population was 18,978 at the 2010 census; the city is home to the Brookfield Zoo. Brookfield is located at 41°49′22″N 87°50′51″W. According to the 2010 census, Brookfield has a total area of 3.067 square miles, of which 3.06 square miles is land and 0.007 square miles is water. Most of Brookfield rises. Along Salt Creek is a steep ravine, home to many oak savannas; these oak savannas are the primary ecosystem of Brookfield, sprawl out from large, forested areas into small pockets in the village. As of the census of 2000, there were 19,085 people, 7,536 households, 5,034 families residing in the village; the population density was 6,252.4 people per square mile. There were 7,753 housing units at an average density of 2,539.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the village was 93.53% White, 0.89% African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.24% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.88% from other races, 1.31% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.05% of the population. The top five ancestries reported in Brookfield as of the 2000 census were German, Polish and Czech. There were 7,536 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.2% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.10. In the village, the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males. The median income for a household in the village was $71,000, the median income for a family was $64,075. Males had a median income of $45,293 versus $33,136 for females.
The per capita income for the village was $24,307. About 2.3% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over. Nearly all of Brookfield is in Illinois' 3rd congressional district. Before 1803, the area now called Brookfield was covered by prairie grasses and farms. Large portions of the area were inhabited by the Native Americans who long ago developed agriculture and corn cultivation, built villages and burial mounds, invented the bow and arrow, made beautiful pottery. Settlement of the village dates to 1889 when Samuel Eberly Gross, a Chicago lawyer turned real estate investor, began selling building lots plotted from farms and woodlands he had acquired along both sides of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad line, which provided passenger and freight service between Chicago and Aurora, Illinois. "Grossdale", as his development was called, offered suburban living at prices affordable to working-class families.
The first two buildings Gross erected were a train station south of the tracks at what is now Prairie Avenue, a pavilion across the tracks. The original train station was moved across the tracks and a few hundred feet east in 1981, is now the home of the village's historical society and museum, as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places; the pavilion housed the first post office, general store, Gross' real estate office, meeting rooms, a dance hall. Gross offered free train outings from Chicago to Grossdale where the prospects were met at the station by a band and treated to a picnic lunch complete with a sales pitch from Gross. In addition to parcels of land, he had a number of house designs to offer at "cheap" prices. Gross added the subdivisions of Hollywood and West Grossdale, each with its own train station. Residents voted to incorporate as the village of Grossdale in 1893; the name was changed in 1905 after residents became displeased with Gross, whose personal life and fortune had floundered.
A contest to choose a new name yielded "Brookfield" in respect for Salt Creek, which runs through the area. Gross has a school named after him called S. E. Gross. In 1920, the old Plank Toll Road, now called Ogden Avenue, was paved, providing easy automobile access to and from Chicago; the Chicago Zoological Park called the Brookfield Zoo, opened in 1934. The zoo is located on land given to the Forest Preserve District by Edith Rockefeller McCormick in 1919. Throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, newspapers published in Brookfield included The Suburban Magnet and Brookfield Star; the largest and most successful newspaper printed in Brookfield was the Brookfield Enterprise, started in 1932 by Porter Reubendall and owned and expanded in the 1950s by Elmer C. Johnson ceasing publication in 1985. Brookfield-LaGrange Elementary School District 95 is the primary elementary school district for Brookfield residents, is made up of one elementary and one junior high school. Other Brookfield students may attend schools in Riverside School District 96, LaGrange Elementary School District 102, or Lyons School District 103.
District 95, 96 teens attend Riverside Brookfield High School in District 208, while students from SD 102 & *SD 103 attend Lyons Township High School, District 204, which h
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