Marital status

Marital status

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A person's marital status indicates whether the person is married. Questions about marital status appear on many polls and forms, including census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

es and credit card
Credit card
A credit card is a small plastic card issued to users as a system of payment. It allows its holder to buy goods and services based on the holder's promise to pay for these goods and services...

 applications.

In the simplest sense, the only possible answers are "single
Single (relationship)
In legal definitions for interpersonal status, a single person is someone who is not in a relationship or is "unmarried". If a marriage is annulled, however, or it is found to have been void ab initio , and assuming the person was not married previously, that individual is single, rather than...

" or "married". However, other options are often included, such as "divorced", "widowed",widow or widower, "cohabiting", "civil union
Civil union
A civil union, also referred to as a civil partnership, is a legally recognized form of partnership similar to marriage. Beginning with Denmark in 1989, civil unions under one name or another have been established by law in many developed countries in order to provide same-sex couples rights,...

", "domestic partnership
Domestic partnership
A domestic partnership is a legal or personal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are neither joined by marriage nor a civil union...

", and "unmarried partners". While anyone who is not married is technically "single" in legal terms, it is often seen as desirable to include these other items. Some unmarried people do not identify as "single" for a variety of reasons, and may be reluctant to describe themselves that way. In some cases, knowing that people are divorced, widowed, or in a relationship is more useful than simply knowing that they are unmarried.

Family status is the combination of marital status with number of children.

Marital status studied in combination with other factors also reveals a marriage gap
Marriage gap
The marriage gap describes observed economic and political disparities between those who are married and those who are single. The marriage gap can be compared to, and should not be confused with, the gender gap.-Politics and marriage:...

.